Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK reports 1st untraceable case with COVID-19 variant

Government staffers check whether a resident in the "restricted area" in Tin Shui Wai has undergone compulsory testing, Hong Kong, Jun 4, 2021. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong confirmed the city’s first untraceable COVID-19 infection with a mutant strain on Saturday as the overall tally in the financial hub rose to 11,851.

The 17-year-old student tested preliminary positive on Friday and was found to carry the N501Y mutant strain, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, said at a briefing in the afternoon.

Her case was confirmed on Saturday and the source of the her infection remained unknown.

Ronald Lam, director of the Health Department’s Centre for Health Protection, said in the same briefing that as of Saturday, a total of 274 infections involving mutant strains have been reported in Hong Kong, all but one imported.

Ronald Lam, director of the Health Department’s Centre for Health Protection, said in the same briefing that as of Saturday, a total of 274 infections involving a mutant strain have been reported in Hong Kong, all but one local

The government will take strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus as N501Y mutant strains are highly transmissible, Lam said.

Around 850 residents of the building the student lives in in Tin Shui Wai were tested for COVID-19 overnight and no confirmed cases were found, the government said in a statement issued in the morning.

ALSO READ: 850 HK residents tested for virus as preliminary variant case found

Her family members and other close contacts were put under quarantine for 21 days as neither she nor her family members have received COVID-19 vaccination, Chuang said.

She is a student of Queen Elizabeth School Old Students' Association Tong Kwok Wah Secondary School in Tin Shui Wai and last went to school on June 3. She has attended tutorial class at Tak Wing Industrial Building in Tuen Mun during her incubation period.

She also visited the Hong Kong International Education Expo at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on May 29.

The school and the places she had stayed during the incubation period will be included in a compulsory testing notice, Chaung added.

Chuang said there were fewer than 10 preliminary positive case, including the student’s mother.

ALSO READ: HK authorizes BioNTech vaccine for over 12-year-olds

In another development, the city’s Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the government will make it convenient for students to get vaccinated.

Nip’s remarks came after the government lowered the age limit for receiving the BioNTech vaccine to 12 this week.

He said Saturday that the government would disseminate relevant information to schools to promote vaccination before arranging relevant convenient channels for students, parents and teachers to get vaccinated. 

He called on people to get their first jab by the end of August.