Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK logs 8th Omicron case, to tighten travel curbs for 7 nations

A traveler in the deserted hall at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021. (PAUL YEUNG / BLOOMBERG)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong will extend travel restrictions to seven countries as the city reported its eighth imported Omicron infection on Tuesday

The Centre for Health Protection said in a statement that the patient infected with the Omicron variant is a 50-year-old man who arrived in Hong Kong on Dec 10 after traveling from Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya.

The Centre for Health Protection said in a statement that the patient infected with the Omicron variant is a 50-year-old man who arrived in Hong Kong on Dec 10 after traveling from Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya

The patient, who had received two Comirnaty shots in Hong Kong on April 16, and May 7, tested positive during his compulsory quarantine at Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre and developed symptoms on Dec 12, the CHP said.

ALSO READ: HK logs 2 new virus cases, detects 7th Omicron infection

The seven other Omicron cases in the city involved two patients each from South Africa, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and a patient from the United States.

The eight Omicron cases were all detected at the Hong Kong International Airport restricted area or during quarantine so they have not spread in the community, the CHP said.

In a separate statement, the government said it will tighten boarding and quarantine requirements for travelers from Bahrain, Bermuda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gibraltar, Hungary, Oman and the Slovak Republic starting Dec 17 after Omicron cases were detected in these countries.

Non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed there within 21 days will not be allowed to enter the SAR while returning residents can board a flight home only if they have been fully vaccinated and hold a recognized vaccination record, the government said.

They will be quarantined for 21 days at a designated hotel, where they will be tested six times for the virus, followed by compulsory testing on the 26th day after their arrival.

ALSO READ: HK tightens travel curbs for 3 countries over Omicron cases

Meanwhile, the CHP said Hong Kong had five new imported COVID-19 cases on Tuesday involving three women from the Philippines, Pakistan, and the US, and two men from Italy and Pakistan. Except for the woman from the US, they were all asymptomatic. The CHP said they all had mutant strains.

The woman from the Philippines, a foreign domestic helper, tested negative six times during her quarantine but, on Dec 12, she tested preliminarily positive “with a low viral load” at a community testing center.

“Her specimen carried the N501Y mutant strain. Preliminary testing results show that the case has a high chance of carrying the Alpha variant strain,” the CHP said.

“The patient tested negative upon admission to hospital, while her antibody test was positive. Based on the epidemiological and laboratory findings so far, the case is compatible with a re-positive case,” it added.

READ MORE: HK reports 1 new COVID-19 case in foreign domestic helper

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

It added that a total of 60 cases were reported from Nov 30 to Dec 13 and all of them were imported.