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Filipina and Canadian travelers found with coronavirus variant

21 March 2021

By The SUN 

Chuang says the Filipina's variant is still unclassified

Hong Kong reported today, Mar 21, a second consecutive day of eight Covid-19 patients, including a Filipina domestic helper and a Canadian resident who both carried the N501Y variant of the coronavirus.

The Filipina, 28, and the Canadian, 63, were among four imported cases which also included two 59-year-old men who arrived on Mar 19, one from Bangladesh and the other a cargo plane pilot from the United States, health officials said.

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The Filipina, who checked in at the Best Western Hotel in Causeway Bay, arrived on Mar 18 and developed symptoms on Mar 19, the Centre for Health Protection said.

“There is one case who arrived from the Philippines and that person is carrying an N501Y variant. We still have to categorize the case and see what sort of variant or the source of the variant,” Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the CHP said in today’s briefing.

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She was replying to a query from a reporter on whether the woman was carrying a new, more potent virus that reports said was newly discovered in the Philippines.

Chuang said the Canadian patient stayed with his family in the Ramada Hong Kong Grand Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui from Feb 16 to Mar 6 for their quarantine. A family member had earlier been confirmed positive, so he and the rest of his family were sent for testing.



Today’s new patients comprised four men and four women aged 2 to 68 years old. They  raised the city’s total Covid-19 tally to 11,380.

The second day of single-digit cases elicited a question from the media on whether the wave of infections from Ursus Fitness was over, with just one patient from that cluster today.

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“Regarding the Ursus cluster, there are a few that were identified in the quarantine centers. Even for the preliminary positive cases, these had been identified in quarantine centers, so I believe the outbreak…has been contained,” Chuang said.

She said so far 142 people, including seven employees, 91 customers and 44 close contacts were found from the gym cluster.


Of the more than 10 preliminary cases today, five were close contacts linked to Ursus.

But she said she was not sure where these people had been to or whether they had infected other people, so contact-tracing is now being done by about 500 CHP staff.

Chuang says it looks like the outbreak in Ursus has been contained (File) 

One local case with untraceable source is a 26-year-old Pakistani man who tested positive overnight. He was in hospital for injuries after his arrest during a gang fight on Lei Yue Mun sports ground on Thursday night.


Sixteen other men, eight of them non-locals, were arrested but released on bail. They are now being traced as close contacts of the man in hospital, Chuang said.

She said about the same number of police officers who broke up the fight and arrested those involved were also considered as close contacts and were sent to testing centers.

“As far as I know, the arrested person is hospitalized. At that time, there were no test results yet, so the other arrested persons had been released on bail,” Chuang said.

She said the patient is uncooperative and would not give the identities and of his gang mates in the melee. If he remains tight-lipped, legal action may be taken against him, she said.

Another preliminary positive case was a day-shift taxi driver aged 71 who lives with his family in Siu Sai Wan. He was driving a taxi with a vehicle license No. LE7673. He last worked on Mar 17.  

Dr Lau Ka-yin, a chief manager at the Hospital Authority, said as of 9am today, 263 confirmed patients were being treated in 19 public hospitals and the treatment facility in North Lantau Hospital. Among them, 10 patients are in critical condition, 10 are serious and 243 stable.

Meanwhile, an expert who is looking into vaccine reactions has urged people waiting for their second Covid-19 jab to consider taking a rest, as they are likely to suffer more side effects.

Prof Ivan Hung, co-convenor of the Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following Covid-19 Immunisation, told a TV program today that based on experience abroad, people tend to develop more symptoms after their second shot than in the first.

“I’d advice them to take half a day or a day off from work after getting inoculated,” he said. His advice comes as the first batch of Sinovac recipients prepare for their second dose, or booster, later this week.


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