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Tuen Mun block locked down as airport cleaner tests positive for mutant strain

23 December 2021

By The SUN


Block A of Siu Hei Court in Tuen Mun is where the infected cleaner is said to live

The government announced an overnight lockdown of a building in Tuen Mun a few hours ago, saying a preliminary positive case with a mutant strain detected today had lived there.

A subsequent press release said the patient is a 64-year-old male cleaner at the Hong Kong airport who was tasked with cleaning a toilet used by those who tested preliminary positive on their arrival test while waiting for transfer to hospital.

He had two doses of the Sinovac vaccine on Jul 10 and Aug 10 and because of the nature of his work he had to undergo frequent testing. Between Dec 2 and 20 he was tested a total of ten times, and all the results were negative.

But in a test conducted on Dec 22 at the airport he tested preliminary positive with a Ct value of about 27 to 32, indicating a recent infection. He developed symptoms on the same day.


Further testing revealed that his specimen carried N501Y and T478K mutations, which led the Centre for Health Protection to suspect that he carries the Omicron variant. But a whole genome sequencing is needed to confirm this suspicion.

A preliminary investigation revealed that he has no travel history and mainly stayed inside the storeroom inside the toilet during work and had been in the toilet with the preliminary positive cases at the same time.

The CHP visited the airport Thursday and collected environmental samples from the storeroom, a changing rool and a restroom that the patient had used.



If he is confirmed to be a local case with unknown source, he will break Hong Kong’s record of zero infections for the past 76 days.

The building where he resided, identified as On Hei House Block A, Siu Hei Court will be locked down until 7am tomorrow, and all residents tested.

They will be tested four times more on subsequent days as part of stricter measures put in place to prevent the highly contagious Omicron variant from entering the community.

The 2 new patients arrived from Europe and Africa

Earlier, the Centre for Health Protection reported two new imported cases of Covid-19 with the N501Y mutant strain, which most likely indicate they have the highly contagious Omicron variant.

The new patients include a 27-year-old woman who came from the United Kingdom on board VS206 on Dec 19, and tested positive on her third of quarantine at Pentahotel in San Po Kong, Kowloon. She had two doses of the BioNTech vaccine in Hong Kong in April and May.


The other patient is a 36-year-old air crew who had been to Ethiopia, Ireland, Canada, Senegal and Belgium before taking flight ET309 from Addis Ababa on Dec 22. He tested positive for the mutant strain of the coronavirus on arrival at Hong Kong Airport. He had two Sinopharm jabs in Ethiopia in May and June.

The two brought Hong Kong’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 12,550.

Pindutin para sa detalye

As of this writing, there has been no update on the number of Omicron patients found in Hong Kong today.

As of yesterday, a total of 34 new arrivals from abroad had already tested positive for what the World Health Organization has listed as a “variant of concern”. Six who arrived yesterday carried the N501Y variant, and were likely to add to the total tally.

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