This undated photo shows a man strolling on a walkway at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui with an outside view of Victoria Harbour. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong confirmed one new COVID-19 infection on Saturday, bringing the overall tally to 12,113, as the health chief said the authorities were closely monitoring the situation involving the Mu variant.
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The newly reported case is an imported one, involving a 45-year-old woman who had traveled from the Philippines, according to a statement from the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health.
Health chief Sohia Chan noted that the World Health Organization is monitoring the new Mu variant, which it has now labeled a "variant of concern"
She received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine in the Philippines on July 5 and Aug 2, respectively, and remained asymptomatic.
From Aug 21 to Sept 3, a total of 68 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the financial hub, all of which were imported, the CHP said.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said the authorities have adopted stringent border control measures to mitigate risks against COVID-19 variants.
She made the remarks when asked by reporters about the risk of the Mu mutant strain escaping to the community.
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She noted that the World Health Organization is monitoring the new variant, which it has now labeled a "variant of concern."
"Whether it is a new variant, variant of concern or any COVID-19 virus, we treat it in a very prudent manner," Chan said after attending a radio program Saturday morning.
She stressed the importance of having stringent border control measures in place, including the "test and hold" arrangement for inbound travelers and flight suspension mechanism, to guard against the threat of imported variants.
Since the launch of the citywide vaccination program against COVID-19 on Feb 26, more than 4.2 million Hong Kong people have taken at least one shot of the vaccine. Among them, some 3.5 million have been fully vaccinated with at least two shots, accounting for about 52.5 percent of the eligible population, official data showed.