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Expert sees contamination in clerk's preliminary positive case

19 August 2021

By The SUN

Clinic where the sample contamination is believed to have happened

A government health expert has made light of a local clerk testing preliminary positive case for Covid-19, saying it appeared to be another case of sample contamination.

The 32-year-old man reportedly left a sample specimen on Aug 16 at Dr Julian Cheung’s clinic at South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau, and it tested positive. However, it had a CT value of between 34 to 37, indicating a low viral load.


After he was taken to hospital, his test results came back negative.

Professor Yuen Kwok-yung who advises the government on its pandemic response inspected the clinic this afternoon, and said afterwards that it was possible the man’s sample had been contaminated by the Covid-19 vaccines being administered there.

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“On the day the man was tested, four others received their Covid vaccinations there. Although the doctor and nurses may have washed their hands and disinfected the area with alcohol afterward, the inactivated virus within the vaccine could have remained inside the clinic and contaminated the man’s sample,” Yuen said.

Yuen says the doctor and nurses followed disinfection procedures

Dr Albert Au of the Centre for Health Protection said the man who works in an office in Admiralty is unvaccinated, so he is required by his company to undergo regular testing for Covid-19.


The man has no recent travel history, and was not in close contact with people with a high risk of infection.

But as a precaution, Au said around 30 individuals have been listed as the man’s close contacts and sent to quarantine camps.


None of them has tested positive for the virus.

This is not the first time contamination from vaccine residue from a vaccination centre has resulted in people testing positive for Covid-19.


One local man who worked in a laboratory processing test samples for Covid-19 and a nurse who helped administer Sinovac jabs in a community vaccination centre had both tested positive for the coronavirus initially.

They were, however, declared as false positives after repeated tests showed they only carried residues of the vaccine from Sinovac, which is made using inactivated virus.

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In April, the government suspended the mobile sampling services of the BGI group after it declared 28 samples as preliminary positive. Further investigation revealed the samples had all been tainted by a positive specimen.

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