A customer buys takeaway food from a restaurant in Hong Kong on Jan 5, 2022.
(PETER PARKS / AFP)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported 33 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, including 30 with mutant strains, bringing the tally to 12,832.
The city also reported more than 30 preliminary positive cases, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection's Communicable Disease Branch, said in a briefing.
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Thirty new cases involved the N501Y and T478K mutant strains, indicating a high likelihood of the Omicron variant, according to Chuang.
The new cases comprised five local infections and 28 imported ones. Among the 28 imported cases, 11 involved foreign domestic helpers, two were cargo flight aircrew, five cases involved travelers from Nepal, and another five from India. The remaining five were arrivals from Australia, Portugal, Switzerland, Canada and France, respectively.
The authorities are still trying to determine the sources of infection of a 67-year-old housewife who lives in Happy Valley and a 63-year-old man who had breakfast in a restaurant in Windsor House, Causeway Bay on Dec 31
The five local infections were linked to the "dance group" cluster and the "Moon Palace" cluster. Chuang said the authorities are still tracing 10 patrons of Six Garden Restaurant in Tin Hau, where a surveyor who lived in Tuen Mun got infected. The 62-year-old had breakfast in the restaurant at around the same time as an infected woman, who is the mother of an Omicron-infected Cacthy Pacific flight attendant.
Chuang said the eatery had been included in a compulsory testing notice and called on anyone who visited the restaurant around 8-10 am on Dec 31 to get tested and contacted the health authorities as soon as possible.
The preliminary positive cases included a foreign domestic helper who attended church gatherings with an infected helper from Dec 31 to Jan 2, as well as a 73-year-old retiree who is a close contact of the infected mother of the Cathay aircrew. The authorities are still trying to determine the sources of infection of a 67-year-old housewife who lives in Happy Valley and a 63-year-old man who had breakfast in a restaurant in Windsor House, Causeway Bay on Dec 31, according to Chaung.
Banks including HSBC and UBS have announced changes in office policies for staff in Hong Kong amid worries of a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections in the Asian financial hub. In a bid to curb the spread of the virus, Hong Kong government on Wednesday announced a two-week ban on some inbound flights, slapped curbs on indoor dining and closed swimming pools, bars and other venues.