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Indian, Filipina variant patients plead guilty to misleading officials

21 June 2021

 By The SUN

The court ordered Rizvi and Guadiz detained anew before their sentencing on Jul 5

The Indian man behind a cluster outbreak of the South African variant of the coronavirus variant pleaded guilty today, Jun 21, to six counts of giving false information to an officer, while his Filipina girlfriend admitted one count of the same charge.

Syed Mohamed Rizvi, 30, and Victoria Marie A. Guadiz, 31, made the admissions when they appeared before Kowloon City Magistrate Ada Yim.

Calling their offences “serious,” the magistrate ordered the two, who were both out on bail, returned to custody pending their sentencing on Jul 5.

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Rizvi, who arrived in Hong Kong from Dubai in March, was found to be infected after he had completed his hotel quarantine and went about in the city.

He lived with Guadiz, who worked as a nursing staff in a clinic, in her rented flat on the 10th floor of Parkes Building on 17-23 Parkes St in Yaumatei.

The prosecutor said the two hid the fact that they attended a family gathering at Hing Wah Estate in Chai Wan on Apr 13, leading to the spread of the virus to nine other people. These included four family members of Guadiz, three Filipina domestic helpers, and the employer and baby ward of one of them.


Because of their lies, over a thousand people had to be quarantined amid initial fears that a silent transmission of the variant had been going on across Hong Kong. All FDHs in the city were also ordered to undergo testing for Covid-19.

In mitigation, the defence said Rizvi hid his whereabouts because he didn’t want his family to be questioned by health officials, and as a tourist, he was unsure where he had been.

Guadiz, on the other hand, expressed regret over her action, saying she understood the huge impact the incident had caused to society. She apologized to the public, and asked that she be given a non-custodial sentence.


Rizvi was charged with six counts of lying to Immigration officers and a nurse about his movements between Apr 10 and 13 while Guadiz faces a charge of lying to a nurse on Apr 17 about knowing her boyfriend.

Court records show that on Apr 15, Rizvi took a Covid-19 test because he was returning soon to Dubai. He was confirmed positive the next day.  Guadiz also took the test on Apr 17 and was found positive on the same day.

They were both taken to the Lantau North Infection Centre’s Ward A1 and B1, where they were the only persons in their respective wards. A tablet was assigned to each ward for communicating with them.


It was during his stay in Ward A1 that Rizvi lied to officers conducting contact-tracing. The particulars of the charges against the two are:

Rizvi being taken to court on the first day of hearing (SCMP photo)

Offense 1: At 11:20am on Apr 16, he told female nurse Lam Ka-fung that he could not remember his itineraries between Apr 10-12. He also said he was alone in Jordan and Tsim Sha Tsui and did not visit any restaurants there on those days.

Offense 2: Guadiz initially denied knowing Rizvi when registered nurse Tang Lai-ching first asked about this during a call made through the tablet in her ward. But after Tang sent her Rizvi’s name on Whatsapp Guadiz admitted she knew him and said they went together to Cheung Chau.

However, after Tang told her Rizvi was positive for the N501Y coronavirus variant, Guadiz immediately denied she knew him and hung up. The nurse later found out that Guadiz had erased the history of their WhatsApp chat.

At the time, Rizvi was also being investigated by Immigration officer Phoebe Wong from the contact tracing team in a video call on the tablet in Ward 1A.

Offense 3: Rizvi denied having any contact with any person on those days.

Offense 4: During epidemiological investigation, the defendant claimed that on Apr 10, he stayed in Guadiz’s flat the whole day.

Offense 5: He also said he went to buy food in a supermarket near his partner’s home on the morning of Apr 11.

Offense 6: At about 5pm on Apr 11, he bought a cake at a shop in Tsimshatsui.

Offense 7: Lastly, he maintained staying in Guadiz’s home and did not attend any gathering with others on Apr 13.

On May 4, Immigration officers Leung Hui-fung and Ho Tsz-ching from the contact tracing team interviewed Rizvi and Guadiz separately.

More than 1,000 people had to be tested in Tung Chung amid fears of a silent transmission of the variant

Guadiz, interviewed by Ho, initially said she could not recall her movements in April. But after Ho found a transaction record at Zaks on her credit card on Apr 11, the Filipina said she attended a gathering at Tong Fuk Village on Apr 10 and dined at Zaks in Discovery Bay on Apr 11. Ho passed the information immediately to Leung.

When told his partner had confessed, Rizvi asked: “Did Victoria tell you everything?” The officer said “yes.” Rizvi replied: “From now on, everything I tell is true.”

The Indian then disclosed he had visited Citygate, Novotel, and Tong Fuk Village with Guadiz on Apr 10. They stayed in Novotel for a night before they went to Zaks.

The couple then dined with Guadiz’s family members in Chai Wan on Apr 13. Three guests in that gathering held another party in a Sham Shui Po flat where three Filipina helpers who lived in three different places, attended and got infected.

Suspecting that they had given false information, investigators passed on the case to the police who arrested the couple at 12:38pm on May 8 on Austin Road, Jordan.


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