Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK sees 7 new virus cases, bans Qatar Airways flights from Doha

HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported seven imported COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, pushing the city’s tally to 11,965, as it imposed a ban on Qatar Airways passenger flights from Doha.

The seven new patients included two men, aged 27 and 52, who flew in from the United States; a 33-year-old man from Japan; a 39-year-old man from France; a 58-year-old man from Iran; and two girls, aged 12 and 16, from Bangladesh, according to a statement issued by the Centre for Health Protection.

It added that Qatar Airways passenger flights from Doha are banned from landing in the city from Tuesday until Aug 2, after four passengers on the carrier’s flight QR818 on Sunday tested positive for COVID-19.

Qatar Airways passenger flights from Doha are banned from landing in the city from Tuesday until Aug 2, after four passengers on the carrier’s flight QR818 on Sunday tested positive for COVID-19

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The CHP also said that an overnight targeted testing operation in Sheung Wan that ended on Tuesday morning found no infections among 185 people who were tested for the virus. The government had cordoned off Centre Point, 72 Staunton Street, Sheung Wan on Monday night after a resident was infected with the L452R mutant strain.

The 27-year-old man was believed to have been infected in the US after he flew there on July 4. He came back to Hong Kong on Sunday, the CHP added.

There were total of 25 confirmed COVID-19 patients being treated as Tuesday in nine public hospitals and the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre, including one patient in serious condition, the Hospital Authority said.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government said it might prosecute a man who received two COVID-19 vaccine shots in the city after having been fully vaccinated abroad, describing the man's action as “extremely selfish and irresponsible”.

The response came after local media reported that the 30-year-old Singaporean, who received two Moderna shots in the city-state in April and May, got two BioNTech jabs in Hong Kong last month in order to obtain a vaccination record to facilitate his visits to local bars.

The man intentionally concealed from healthcare workers at the local vaccination center the fact that he had been fully inoculated, the government said, citing media reports.

“The act of the person concerned not only potentially poses risks to his own health but also at the same time implicates the healthcare worker administering vaccination to him, a government spokesman said in a statement issued late Monday, adding that his act “seriously wastes precious vaccine resources.”

The government said it would investigate the incident and consider taking legal action because what the man did may involve "misrepresentation and gaining of benefits through deception", which constitutes a criminal offense.

“We also do not rule out the possibility of not providing the relevant person with the vaccination record proof of the vaccines received in Hong Kong,” the spokesman added.

READ MORE: HK reports no new COVID-19 case for third time in a week

The Hong Kong government said it has no way to accurately grasp the vaccination records issued outside Hong Kong, appealing to vaccine takers to provide truthful statements regarding their health.

As of Monday, more than 2.85 million people in Hong Kong have received at least the first vaccine dose, accounting for 41.9 percent of people aged 12 or above. Among them, nearly 2.04 million have been fully vaccinated since the program started in late February.