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Filipina in variant cluster the lone local among 3 new Covid-19 patients

13 May 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The Indian patient reportedly got the variant from a Filipino who also stayed at Ramada TST

The girlfriend of a Filipino man who is found to be infected with the N501Y coronavirus variant today became the 10th confirmed patient in a cluster outbreak that began with an Indian engineer from Dubai who tested positive for the South African strain.

As this developed, RTHK reported that an expert has revealed that the index patient in the cluster is not really the Indian man but a Filipino who stayed in a room next to his at Ramada Hong Kong Grand Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.


The report quoted Dr Gilman Siu from Polytechnic University’s department of health technology and informatics as saying the latest genetic analysis by his team shows the virus carried by the Filipino was the “ancestor” of the transmission chain.

“We found that one mutation is missing in [the virus carried by] the Filipino young man, suggesting this virus should be the ‘ancestor’. When it’s transmitted to the Indian man, it developed one more mutation,” Siu said.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The Indian returnee (case No. 11643) tested negative for the virus before he was released from a 21-day hotel quarantine. He went on to live with his Filipina girlfriend, a clinic receptionist in Central who rented a flat in Parkes Building on Jordan Road

Together, they attended a family gathering at the house of the Filipina’s mother in Chai Wan on Apr 13. Also present were today’s case, who is 40 years old, and the 42-year-old brother of the Filipina who was reported as infected yesterday.

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The two latter patients held another party in Sham Shui Po on Apr 18, and invited three Filipina domestic helpers who also caught the variant.

The Centre for Health Protection is still trying to find out the type of infection the Filipina (case No. 11816) carried, a CHP staff said. She added that the 42-year-old boyfriend (11815) was confirmed today to be an N501Y carrier.


The two had earlier tested positive for immunoglobulin G, indicating a previous infection.

The 10th patient in the cluster is the only local case among today’s three confirmed Covid-19 patients who included a man, aged 43, who arrived from France with a new variant of concern, or VOC, called L452R.

The third case is an Indonesian female helper, 35, who arrived on May 9 and was in quarantine at Ramada Hong Kong Grand in Tsim Sha Tsui when she tested positive for the regular Covid-19.

The man from France found with the newly identified variant stayed abroad for only 3 days

The first imported case, the man who arrived from France on May 9, resided at 29 Staunton St in Central, and got tested before he left for Paris on May 6.

When he returned to Hong Kong on May 9, he stayed at Regal Airport Hotel in Chek Lap Kok, for his quarantine. He developed fever on May 11 and was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, where he was found to have the L452R variant.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

CHP has classified him as an imported case from France. Yet, out of caution, building on Staunton St where he had stayed during part of the incubation period was put under a compulsory testing notice today.

After the WHO classified the variant strain B.1.617 as the fourth variant of concern, the CHP said it will use L452R with immediate effect as the indicator of the new variant. The N501Y indicator was earlier used to refer to three earlier VOCs known as the B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 variants.

L452R cases will be managed in the same way as those that are N501Y positive, the CHP said.

The Hospital Authority said as of 9am today, 63 confirmed Covid-19 patients were being treated in 14 public hospitals and the infection control center at North Lantau Hospital. Two of these patients are in critical condition, one is serious and the remaining 60 are stable.

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