A bride and groom wearing protective face masks walk at the waterfront for a photo shooting in Hong Kong, May 21, 2022. (KIN CHEUNG / AP)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported 237 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as a family of three who ate at a fast food outlet in Taikoo Shing tested positive for the virus.
The new cases included 212 local infections and 25 imported cases, Albert Au, principal medical and health officer of the Communicable Disease Branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said at a press briefing
The new cases included 212 local infections and 25 imported cases, Albert Au, principal medical and health officer of the Communicable Disease Branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said at a press briefing.
He said 94 were confirmed through nucleic acid testing and 143 by rapid antigen tests.
Au said the imported cases included eight from the United States, four from Singapore, three from India, two from Canada, and one each from Argentina, New Zealand, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Bangladesh.
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He said a 46-year-old man from Singapore also tested positive on the 12th day after his arrival in Hong Kong. He lives in Bel-Air and works at Tower 2 of Exchange Square. He said the patient’s viral load was low and his infection might be a local case.
Au said a family of three–a 41-year-old mother and her two sons, aged 8 and 9 years old–tested positive after eating at a McDonald’s branch in Cityplaza, Taikoo Shing before lunchtime on May 15.
At that time, a 64-year-old woman who later tested positive and was linked to the Lan Kwai Fong hotel cluster was also at the restaurant and they had an overlap of 10 minutes.
Au said a genome sequencing analysis was being conducted to determine if the woman, who had the Omicron BA.2.12.1 subvariant, was the source of the family's infection.
“The family was seated close to the counter. This lady was seated further away,” Au said.
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He said the mother and her two sons tested positive on May 18. Before that, the two boys were able to go to school since their rapid antigen tests were still negative.
Au added that three more cases were traced to the cluster linked to the Benchmark school, which now has 24 cases. He also said that 10 cases were found after health authorities conducted testing at residential care homes starting on Friday.
Meanwhile, Lau Ka-hin, chief manager (quality and standards) of the Hospital Authority, said 512 patients were being treated in public hospitals, North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Center, and the COVID-19 community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo.
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