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Dead seafarer with Delta variant among 4 imported cases today

25 June 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap


The sailor who was found dead on his ship tested positive for the Delta variant, 

A dead seafarer from Bangladesh who was found to carry the mutant strain of the Delta variant was among four new Covid-19 cases reported in Hong Kong today, Jun 25.

According to staff at the Centre for Health Protection, the 56-year-old man seaman was found dead aboard his ship anchored off Hong Kong. Tests on specimen samples taken from him showed the presence of the L542R strain, but it’s still not known if his death was caused by the virus. Investigations are continuing.


Of the three other cases, two were recent arrivals from the United Kingdom, and both carried the L452R strain. They are the fifth and six persons to arrive in HK from the UK in the past five days who tested positive for the highly infectious strain on arrival. Two others who arrived in the same period were found infected while in quarantine.

The first reported patient today is a 20-year-old male who flew in aboard flight KL 819 on Jun 23 and tested positive on airport test. The second is a 22-year-old female who took flight CX252 and arrived on the same day.

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The fourth reported case involves a 37-year-old foreign domestic helper from Indonesia who flew in aboard Garuda flight GA 876 on Jun 20, and was found positive for Covid-19 on her third-day sample. The result of the variant test on her is still pending.  

The spike in the number of variant carriers among new arrivals from the UK prompted Hong Kong last night to again reclassify the country as “very high risk”, which means all travelers from there will have to quarantine for 21 days starting tomorrow.


Pre-boarding requirements for the travelers also require them to submit a negative result for a nucleic acid test for the coronavirus taken within 72 hours prior to their departure time.

Eight recent arrivals from London were found to carry the Delta variant

But under the tightened restrictions imposed by Hong Kong on May 4, a ban on passenger flights from the UK should have already been imposed. The rules say that if at least five travelers from any place test positive for a mutated form of the virus on arrival at HK airport within a seven-day period, the country-specified ban is triggered.

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The suspension of all flights from any country will also take effect if there are at least 10 passengers from the place who are found with a variant by any test, including during quarantine, within the same period.

This rule was applied when all passenger flights from Indonesia were halted on Jun 22 after six foreign domestic helpers who arrived from Jakarta on that day were found infected with the L542R strain.


Meanwhile, the CHP said in a press statement that it has been informed about a confirmed case in the UK today, involving a 19-year-old female patient who left HK for London on Jun 13 via flight CX251. A sample collected from her on Jun 16 tested positive, but a repeat test on Jun 22 showed a negative result.

“The CHP is following up the case with the UK health authority and the epidemiological investigations of the case are ongoing,” said the statement.

Out of caution, the building where she had resided, which is Tower 2, Springdale Villas in Yuen Long, has been put under a compulsory testing notice (CTN) today. Any person who had been to the building for more than two hours from May 31 to June 13 is required to undergo testing on or before June 27.

In the past 14 days, a total of 31 cases have been reported, and all but one were imported. The lone local case involves a 27-year-old male ground crew of Hong Kong Airlines who was identified as the first person in the community to be found with the Delta variant.

The source of his infection is unknown. No one in his family was found infected, and a lockdown of the residential building in Tai Po where he lives has yielded no new case.

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