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30 new Covid-19 cases reported, 9 of them new arrivals from Philippines

15 March 2021

 By Daisy CL Mandap 

8 Filipina DHs and one returning resident were among 14 imported cases today

A record number of new arrivals from the Philippines were among 40 new Covid-19 cases reported Monday, Mar 15, by Hong Kong health authorities.

Nine of today’s 14 imported cases were all Filipinas, and all except one were foreign domestic workers. All nine carried the mutated strain of the coronavirus, according to Dr Albert Au from the Centre for Health Protection.

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Five all flew in aboard Cathay Pacific flight CX 906 which arrived from Manila at about 1:30pm Saturday, prompting Hong Kong authorities to impose a two-week ban on that flight starting today. They included the 43-year-old returning resident and FDHs aged 30 to 43.

Three others landed on the same day, and tested positive at the airport. Two of them aged 32 and 39, took Cebu Pacific flight 5J 272 from Manila; while the third, aged 26, flew in via Philippine Airlines flight PR 300.

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The ninth infection involved a 30-year-old Filipina domestic worker who arrived on flight 5J 272 on Mar 2, and tested positive on her 12th day in hotel quarantine.

The number of infected new arrivals from the Philippines was the biggest since Hong Kong imposed stricter travel restrictions on those flying in from abroad on Mar 25 last year.


To date, the biggest number of new arrivals from the Philippines who tested positive on arrival was recorded on Jul 11 last year, when 7 Filipina DHs deployed by a single recruitment agency in the Philippines came in with the virus.

Two other imported cases tested positive for the more infectious coronavirus strain: a male traveler from Pakistan who arrived on Mar 13, and another male traveler from Bangladesh who developed symptoms and tested positive on his 10th day in quarantine.


Rounding up the list of imported cases were another male resident who flew in from Pakistan on Mar 13, and two travelers who tested positive on their 12th day in quarantine – a returnee from Togo and a female domestic worker from Indonesia.

Asked what could explain the rise in the number of imported cases, Au said this reflected the current global situation. “It may be related to the number of cases globally,” he said.


For sure, the Philippines is among those currently experiencing a surge in cases, with new daily infections hovering around 5,000 in the past several days.

Of the 16 local cases, 15 are linked to previous infections and one was untraceable. Of the linked cases, 13 were related to the outbreak in Ursus Fitness in Sai Ying Pun.


Au said the total number of cases linked to the gym cluster has gone up to 122, comprising 7 staff members, 85 customers and 30 close contacts. About 860 people identified as close contacts of the confirmed cases have been moved to quarantine centers.

Six more buildings linked to this outbreak were listed for compulsory testing, including the ritzy Borret Mansions, Tregunter Tower 1, Glory Heights and Kam Yuen Mansion in Mid-Levels; and Bellevue Garden on Old Peak Road.

A third case was also found in the HSBC headquarters on Queen’s Road Central, prompting the issuance of a compulsory testing order on all workers in the building. But Au said that while the first two were linked to Ursus, the third case had not been to the gym.

Two staff at the US Consulate tested preliminary positive for Covid-19

There were more than 10 preliminary positive cases recorded, including two staff members at the United States Consulate General who were found during the overnight lockdown of Dynasty Court in Mid-Levels that started Sunday.

The couple, a 40-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman, showed no symptoms and last went to work on Friday. The last time they were out of Hong Kong was in September last year, so they are considered as local cases.

Au said the pair recently visited a bar on Staunton Street in Central and a restaurant in Sai Kung but did not go out much.

Hong Kong officials are said to be liaising with the US Consulate on the cases. Au said that if the two are confirmed to have Covid-19, they will be moved to a hospital and isolated in accordance with standard practice. All staff at the Consulate will also be ordered to go for testing.

In a statement, the US Consulate said the employees in question worked in offices where they did not interact with the public. It also said the consulate building has been closed for disinfection and cleansing.




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