People wearing face masks walk in a park in Hong Kong, May 9, 2022. (KIN CHEUNG / AP)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported 233 new COVID-19 cases on Monday as a worker at a Yuen Long restaurant, where an outbreak has been detected, tested positive for the virus. 

Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said in a news briefing that a chef at the Golden Peony Restaurant, where 11 cases were previously found, tested positive through a rapid antigen test.

The infections at the Golden Peony Restaurant happened mostly on May 1 and were apparently caused by the airborne transmission of the virus

“His last day of work was May 5. On May 8, he had a sore throat. He had an RAT test and he tested positive,” Chuang said.

“(The chef) had some activities in the community and he might be a community-acquired case. We have to await the genome-sequencing test results before we can have any conclusion,” she added.  

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The infections at the restaurant happened mostly on May 1 and were apparently caused by the airborne transmission of the virus, Chuang said, adding that there was no evidence of environmental contamination.

Of the 199 restaurant patrons who have been identified, 138 tested negative while the rest are still waiting for their results, Chuang said.

She added that 44 of the restaurant’s 48 staff members were also negative for the virus while three others have yet to receive their test results.

Chuang also said that 33 of the 233 new cases were imported, including 19 that were detected at the airport.

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The infections found at the airport included five that arrived on Cathay Pacific flight CX845 from New York, four on Swiss flight LX138 from Zurich, and three on Air Canada flight AC007 from Vancouver. Chuang said 14 other imported cases were detected during quarantine. 

Hospital Authority’s Chief Manager Sara Ho said at the same briefing that an 89-year-old woman who had COVID-19 and had no vaccination record passed away in the last 24 hours, bringing the tally during the fifth wave of infections to 9,134.

She said that 959 confirmed patients were being treated at public hospitals, the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Center, and the AsiaWorld-Expo community treatment facility.

Ho added that one patient was in serious condition while two others were critical and in intensive care units.

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