Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK logs 26 virus cases, including 1 linked to Moon Palace cluster

A woman scans a QR code for the Hong Kong government's Leave Home Safe app, used for contact tracing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, at a market in the Kowloon City area on Nov 9, 2021.
(BERTHA WANG / AFP)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong health authorities on Sunday reported 26 new cases that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – including another patron of Chinese restaurant Moon Palace.

In a statement, the Centre for Health Protection said among the 26 new cases, nine were confirmed COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of such cases to 12,664. The remaining 17 cases were asymptomatic cases.

The financial hub has recorded 29 asymptomatic cases since Jan 1 this year, the center said.

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The newly reported cases comprised 25 imported cases and one possibly import-related case, the center said. "Twenty-four of the cases involved mutant strains while mutation test results of the remaining two cases are pending."

Twenty-four of the cases involved mutant strains while mutation test results of the remaining two cases are pending.

Centre for Health Protection

The patients were seven men and 18 women, aged 21 to 61, as well as a one-year-old infant. 

The possibly import-related involved a 50-year-old woman who had a meal at Moon Palace at Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong from around noon to 2 pm on Dec 27 – around the same time when an infected Cathay Pacific aircrew visited. The aircrew was believed to have already spread the virus to his father – who had lunch with him at the restaurant on Dec 27 – and a construction worker who had a meal at another table the same day.

Including the 50-year-old woman, there have been four positive cases related to Moon Palace. The cluster could further grow as the CHP said the wife of the infected construction worker also tested preliminarily positive for the virus. She had a meal with her husband at Moon Palace on Dec 27 and developed a sore throat on Jan 1. 

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The center said it has arranged about 340 close contacts of the Moon Palace cluster and their household contacts to undergo quarantine at the government center at Penny's Bay. They included 22 staff members of the restaurant and about 170 customers who patronized there at the same period of time. The CHP is still tracing some 30 patrons who had visited the restaurant. 

Including the 50-year-old woman, there have been four positive cases related to Moon Palace. The cluster could further grow as the CHP said the wife of the infected construction worker also tested preliminarily positive for the virus

Among the 25 imported cases reported on Sunday, nine arrived in Hong Kong from Group A specified places (high-risk) with enhanced surveillance while the remaining 16 from Group A specified places, the center noted. Among them was a local aircrew member, 28, whose infection prompted the government to set up restricted areas in two buildings in North Point and Tung Chung for targeted testing Saturday night. No new COVID-19 positive cases were detected in the exercises. 

One of the imported cases involved a 27-year-old woman living at Kornhill Block K in Quarry Bay. She departed Hong Kong on Dec 24 for Finland after she tested negative a day before. She returned to Hong Kong on Dec 31 via the Netherlands and Thailand on flight KL819. Her specimen collected upon arrival at Hong Kong airport tested positive carrying the N501Y and T478K mutant strains. 

“The places where she resided and visited in Hong Kong during the incubation period have been included in a compulsory testing notice,” the center said.

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A total of 148 cases tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus have been reported between Dec 19 and Jan 1, the CHP said. Four of them were import-related cases while the rest were imported.

The total number of cases tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the city rose to 12,693.

Also on Sunday, the government announced to suspend the landing of passenger flights in Hong Kong from Amsterdam operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and from Manchester operated by Cathay Pacific from Jan 2 to 15. The announcement came after six passengers on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Amsterdam and three passengers on a Cathay flight from Manchester tested positive upon arrival in Hong Kong on Dec 31.