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HK’s new Covid-19 cases drop to single digit

14 January 2022

By The SUN 

Only 9 new cases were reported today, but officials still urge caution

Hong Kong has reported nine new coronavirus cases, the first time in more than two weeks that the daily figure has dropped to single digit. Six of the cases were imported and the rest were local, with possible imported links.

Fewer than 10 preliminary positive cases were also recorded.

The figures which were disclosed at today’s press briefing by the Centre for Health Protection prompted the oft-repeated question of whether Hong Kong has managed to contain the Omicron-fuelled outbreak in the community.

CHP controller Dr Edwin Hui replied that there could still be silent transmissions that they were not aware of, so it was difficult to say if the outbreak has already been put under control.

“At present, although the number of local Omicron cases has been steady, or a little bit reduced, we don’t know if there is still silent transmission in some parts of Hong Kong. So we cannot say at present that the transmission has been contained,” he said.

Hui urged everyone to remain vigilant.


Yesterday, CHP’s infectious disease chief Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan also reminded the media that the reason there has been a decline in the number of confirmed cases being reported is because Hong Kong has stopped passenger flights from eight countries.

Before the flight ban, the biggest number of Omicron cases detected in Hong Kong involved travelers from these countries, which include the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Among those reported as confirmed cases today is that of a 20-year-old nurse who assisted a doctor in examining a young boy who had symptoms at his clinic in Gold Coast, Tuen Mun. The boy was not tested and was found infected a few days later.

But another young nurse who worked in the same clinic chain in Tuen Mun as her infected colleague, was found to be a false positive case.


Chuang said the sample taken from the nurse that tested positive was contaminated with a vaccine strain, and this was confirmed in a second test done by Hong Kong University microbiologist Dr Yuen Kwok-yung.

Another confirmed case is that of a construction site worker who was involved in a traffic accident and tested positive just before undergoing surgery at Prince of Wales hospital.

The Pakistani patient who worked at a construction site and delivered food on the side has already tested negative twice, and experts think he may be a re-positive case, or that he was infected previously without him being aware of it.

Chuang, Tsui and Hospital Authority's Lau Ka-hin at the briefing

She also reported new developments from the genome sequencing of some local cases, including that of a female aircraft cleaner whose source of infection was previously unknown.

Genetic analysis showed that the cleaner had acquired her infection from a previously confirmed patient who arrived on Jan 4 in HK aboard CX845, making it an import-linked case.

Chuang said the earlier patient, identified as Case No 12771, had occupied seat 46K of the aircraft which was in the section which the second patient, Case No 12908, was assigned to clean.

Pindutin para sa detalye

A complete genome sequencing also linked the three cases at Maple Gardens 3 in North Point together. The index patient in this case was in turn linked to a super spreader in the dance cluster who had dined in the Six Garden restaurant in Tin Hau as he did.

Among the preliminary positive cases was a 51-year-old colleague of the female security guard at Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre whose infection was also tracked through genetic analysis to an infected person on whose door she had tacked a notice.


The second security guard often had lunch with her infected colleague and did the same job as she. Chuang said investigations are being carried out to confirm if she had caught the virus from her friend.

Another preliminary case involved a close contact of an infected person who lives in Phoenix Garden in the North District. Chuang said there are now two units affected in the same block, and expers are looking into whether the transmission had occurred within the building.

Earlier, fears that silent transmission had been going on in Tuen Mun was further fueled by the two nurses testing preliminary positive earlier. The district has been designated as “high risk” and all residents there urged to get tested.

Health experts tracking down the spread of the highly infectious new variant have revealed that at least 11 recently confirmed cases live in Tuen Mun.

Nine of them are linked to the outbreak at Moon Palace restaurant in Kowloon Tong, whose index case was a Cathay Pacific air crew member who had lunch there with two relatives while supposedly on home isolation.

At least five are tied to the so-called dance cluster, sparked by a newly arrived female Cathay flight crew who infected her unvaccinated mother, who then spread it to several friends with whom she regularly danced in Causeway Bay.

Hundreds of residents have been put under compulsory testing orders amid the spread of the virus in their district, and many have complained about the long queues.

In a bid to encourage them to get tested at home, the government announced on Friday that it would distribute 3,000 free rapid test kits to residents.  However, these are meant to just allow them to detect possible infections, and do not take the place of the swab tests required in mandatory testing.

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