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3 more Omicron cases reported, including quarantine-exempt air crew

18 December 2021

 By The SUN


One of the 3 new Omicron cases is a Cathay cargo crew who was quarantine exempt 

Health authorities reported finding three more newly arrived passengers carrying the Omicron variant today, Dec 18, including a cargo air crew member who tested positive for Covid-19 two days after arriving in Hong Kong and being allowed to undergo medical surveillance at home.

The 27-year-old Cathay Pacific cargo crew was confirmed as a Covid-19 case yesterday, and tested positive for the N501Y mutant strain.

An overnight lockdown of his residential building in Yau Ma Tei on Thursday did not yield any new infection, but the Centre for Health Protection ordered six more rounds of tests for residents as a precaution.

Two other male patients who were also confirmed to have the coronavirus yesterday were also found to carry the Omicron variant. One is 30 years old and flew in from Ghana via Qatar, while the other is 27 years old who came from the Bahamas via the United States.

The three took the total number of Omicron cases in Hong Kong to 14. Of the 11 earlier cases, two were linked to South Africa, two to the United States, two to the United Kingdom, two to Nigeria, two from Uganda and Kenya, and one from Tanzania.

More Omicron cases are likely to be found, as many new arrivals
carry the mutant strain linked to the new variant 

Meanwhile five new imported cases of Covid-19 were reported today, including three who carry the N501Y mutant strain, which now appears to be linked more to Omicron than to the earlier Alpha variant.

These include a 35-year-old woman who arrived from Nigeria on board QR818 on Dec 14, and had to spend her first seven days of quarantine at Penny’s Bay. The two others are both women who came from the United Kingdom aboard CX252 on Dec. 15. One is 77 years old and the other is 56.

The two other confirmed cases are both males who tested positive for the L452R mutant strain commonly linked to the Delta variant. One is 83 years old and tested positive on arrival from Canada while the other is 24 years old, and took the Nepal Air flight from Kathmandu that was suspended for two weeks after three of its passengers tested positive on their arrival test on Dec 14.

The new cases took Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally to 12,519 which includes one probable case.

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