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Filipina DH with variant is only Covid-19 case

21 April 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

The lone case tested positive on her 12th day in quarantine at Silka Yau Ma Tei

A Filipina domestic helper who arrived on Apr 8 and tested positive on her second sample while under hotel quarantine is the only Covid-19 case reported today.

No local case was reported, the first since Apr 4.


The 31-year-old Filipina, who was asymptomatic, was on the 12th day of her stay at Silka Seaview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei when she tested positive for coronavirus.  She had flown in via Cebu Pacific flight 5J272.

A staff at the Centre for Health Protection said the patient was also found to carry the N501Y variant, which is said to be 70 times more infectious than the regular virus strain.


The number of imported cases has dropped significantly since Hong Kong tightened entry restrictions for those arriving from abroad on Apr 15, including banning flights when a certain number of passengers test positive on arrival in Hong Kong.

A two-week suspension on all flights from the Philippines, India and Pakistan which took effect yesterday is likely to reduce the number of imported cases even more.

Two experts dispute claim that food hooks caused the virus to spread

Meanwhile, an infectious disease expert has cast doubt on CHP’s statement yesterday that food hooks must have spread the South African variant among three guests who had quarantined on the same floor of Ramada Grand Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui in the second half of March and early April.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Prof. David Hui of the City University of Hong Kong, who is also a government health consultant, said on a radio talk show this morning that the S-shaped hooks used to hang food rations of quarantined guests had tested negative for the coronavirus.

Hui said the hooks could just be one of the sources of infection, but it could also be environmental contamination, or a long incubation period.

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Another health expert, Leung Chi-chiu, totally dismissed the notion that the hooks had caused cross contamination among the three hotel guests.

He said airborne transmission was the likely source, given that most hotels have narrow corridors through which contaminated air could circulate quite easily.


At yesterday’s press briefing, CHP’s infectious disease expert Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said experts who checked the hotel did not find anything wrong with its ventilation and air conditioning system, or its sewage pipes.

That made the experts conclude that the food hooks must have caused the virus to spread as they were the only objects shared among guests, Chuang said.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The three patients from the hotel included a 29-year-old Indian man who was classified as the first local case to have the variant.

He flew in from Dubai on Mar 18 and tested negative for all Covid-19 tests while in quarantine. He was found infected only after he got himself tested before his intended departure from Hong Kong.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong 

The two other cases who had stayed on the same floor as the man in Ramada TST were both detected earlier. Both were FDHs, one Filipina and one Indonesian.

Another Indonesian DH who had spent her 21-day quarantine in the same hotel, but on a different floor, was among the local cases listed yesterday. She had moved in with her employer in Yau Tong on Apr 10 and was detected only after submitting herself to compulsory testing.


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