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Kwai Chung building locked down for 3 days after 16 Omicron cases found

21 January 2022

By The SUN 

Residents at Yat Kwai House will be tested for three consecutive nights 

Health authorities have ordered three consecutive overnight lockdowns on Yat Kwai House in Kwai Chung Estate after 16 confirmed Covid-19 cases, likely with a new strain of the Omicron variant, were detected in the building.

At an impromptu press briefing late on Thursday, a team from the Centre for Health Protection said the 16 confirmed cases were either confirmed positive or were preliminary positive. Fifteen are residents and one is a security guard.


The result of the genome sequencing on the first two cases has revealed the presence of BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron, which is believed to be even more infectious than the original variant.

Microbiologist Dr Yuen Kwok-yung revealed that the infections were linked to a Pakistani housewife who caught the coronavirus with the highly transmissible variant just before leaving her quarantine hotel, then brought it home with her to Sham Shui Po.

Pindutin para sa detalye

It turned out her 46-year-old husband who is not vaccinated and was in turn infected, had gone to the garbage rooms at Kwai Chung Estate on Jan 13 to gather items he could sell at his hawker’s spot on Nam Cheong Street in Sham Shui Po.

Yuen said the man must have spent time choosing items in the trash collection point not only in Yat Kwai House, but also at Luk Kwai House and Tsz Kwai House in the Kwai Chung estate.

The virus is believed to have been passed on to either the building’s cleaners or security personnel, who went on to infect residents.

Pindutin para sa detalye

He said the infected residents live in 12 units on 11 floors, and the flats face different directions. An inspection of the sewage pipes did not reveal any abnormality, thus, it is not likely that vertical transmission had taken place.

Yuen on an inspection visit to the Kwai Chung estate

Because of these findings Yuen said it was not necessary to evacuate everyone but suggested that the building be put under lockdown daily for the next three days. There are also 2,500 people living in the building, so there would not be enough quarantine places for all of them.

Under the daily lockdown residents will be required to undergo testing every night and show a negative test result on their mobile phones in the morning if they want to leave.


However, Yuen advised them not to leave their houses unless absolutely necessary to prevent a further spread of the virus.

The first positive case from the building was detected on Jan 16, when a 79-year-old man was tested prior to undergoing a colonoscopy at Yan Chai Hospital.

Yesterday, two other infections were linked to the building. One was a  55-year-old male resident working as a forklift operator at Cathay Pacific’s cargo terminal site at Hong Kong airport, while the other is a year-old baby girl who visited her grandmother who lives in the building.
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