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21 new Covid-19 cases recorded, more than half imported

09 March 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap

13 imported cases were reported, 7 of them with the mutated coronavirus

A spike in the number of people flying into Hong Kong with Covid-19 was recorded today, Mar 9.

Out of the 21 new cases reported, 13 were deemed imported, with the patients coming from various countries, and all but two testing positive while in hotel quarantine.

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Four of the imported cases flew in from Pakistan, three from the Philippines, and one each from Singapore, Turkey, Canada, Nigeria, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates.

Asked about the unusual increase in the number of people deemed to have brought the virus into Hong Kong, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said, “It is difficult to explain because they came from different places.”

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But, she added, “I think it’s related to the outbreak situation in the place where they came from.”

This view is supported by what is happening in the Philippines, at least. Over the past several days the number of new coronavirus cases in the country has gone up to around 3,000 daily, alarming health officials there.


They fear that this could be the result of the spread of new coronavirus variants, which are said to be 70 times more infectious than the usual strain.

Among the new cases in Hong Kong today, seven were found to have the mutated virus, although Chuang did not identify them from among the new imported cases.


But she said three of the imported cases tested positive on their 19th day in quarantine and six on the 12th day. The four others were found infected on arrival at the airport.

Those who returned a positive result on the 19th day were all returning residents who flew in from Singapore, Pakistan and Nigeria. 


The three travelers from the Philippines – two domestic helpers and one resident – were among those who were found infected on the 12th day, along with a returnee each from Pakistan, Canada and Belgium.

Those who were found to have the coronavirus on arrival was an air crew from Turkey, two returnees from Pakistan, and another from the UAE.


Of the eight local cases, three were deemed untraceable while five were linked to previous infectious.

Among the linked cases was a 56-year-old man working at Windsor House in Causeway Bay whose source of infection is believed to be linked to the outbreak at Ming’s Chinese Restaurant at K11Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Four infections in Coast Seafood & Grill are linked to Mr Ming's restaurant cluster

According to Chuang, the man had lunch at the Coast Seafood & Grill on Cleveland Street in Causeway Bay on Feb 22, and was seated at the table used by another person who had been to Ming’s just days earlier.

Two other diners who sat at a nearby table at different times were also found infected.

Chuang said staff at the restaurant had all been tested, and the results were all negative. Around 20 environmental samples taken from the restaurant all came back negative for the virus as well.

Despite this, the premises has been asked to close for disinfection, and for staff to undergo testing again.

“The chance of random occurrence is a bit low. That’s why we advised them to do the testing,” said Chuang.

She said everyone who ate at the restaurant should also get tested.

The three untraceable cases included a 26-year-old man who works at a facility for mentally disabled people in Kwun Tong and tested positive only after repeated testing because he had Covid-19 symptoms. 

 Another is a 58-year-old man who works in a laboratory in Tai Po and a 27-year-old man who works in a gym in Pokfulam

Fewer than 10 preliminary positive cases were reported, but they again included some with unknown sources.

Dr Linda Yu from the Hospital Authority said 205 confirmed patients are being treated in 24 public hospitals and the treatment facilities at AsiaWorld Expo and the North Lantau Hospital. Of these, 14 are in critical condition, 12 in serious condition, while the 179 others are stable.



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