A girl wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 plays with a balloon outside a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (KIN CHEUNG/AP)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong government ordered residents in a block of a building in Tin Shui Wai in the New Territories to stay inside and undergo testing for COVID-19, after a secondary schoolgirl who lives there tested preliminarily positive for a mutated strain of COVID-19.
In a press release issued on Friday evening, the Health Department’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said the case involved a 17-year-old student who lives at Shing Yu House of Tin Shing Court.
She developed symptoms including fever, runny nose, headache and loss of smell on June 2 and attended Tin Shui Wai (Tin Yip Road) Community Health Centre the next day where she submitted deep throat saliva for testing.
The sample tested preliminary positive and was found to carry the N501Y mutant strain, the CHP said.
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She is a student of Queen Elizabeth School Old Students' Association Tong Kwok Wah Secondary School in Tin Shui Wai and has attended tutorial class at Tak Wing Industrial Building in Tuen Mun.
She visited the Hong Kong International Education Expo at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on May 29.
Around 2.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public since the launch of the citywide vaccination drive in the financial hub on Feb 26
As N501Y mutant strains are highly transmissible, the CHP said it “has to carry out prudent measures on infection control, so as to stop the potential risk of spreading the virus.”
The school the patient attended and the places she had stayed during the incubation period will be included in a compulsory testing notice.
Residents of Shing Yu House are required to get tested for COVID-19 before they are allowed to leave the building. They will need to be tested four more times in the next two weeks, the CHP said.
The CHP said the student and her family members have not received COVID-19 vaccination. Her family members and other close contacts were put under quarantine for 21 days.
Hong Kong reported one new imported COVID-19 case on Friday, bringing the overall infection tally to 11,850.
The latest case involved a 21-year-old woman who has flown in Hong Kong, according to a press release issued by the Health Department’s Centre for Health Protection. She was asymptomatic and has stayed in Ramada Hong Kong Harbour View hotel in Sai Ying Pun after arriving in Hong Kong.
A total of 21 cases have been reported in the past 14 days and all of them were imported, according to the release.
Around 2.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public since the launch of the citywide vaccination drive in the financial hub on Feb 26, the government said in a separate release.
Some 1.44 million people, or about 22 percent of its population aged 16 or above, have taken at least one shot of the vaccine, including more than 1.05 million people fully vaccinated, it added.
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