HONG KONG – The Hong Kong government cordoned off a building in North Point on Tuesday night for targeted testing as health authorities investigated a suspected re-positive overseas case and two preliminary positive imported cases of COVID-19.
In a statement, the government said it set up a “restricted area” starting at 7 pm at Two Island Place on 55 Tanner Road in North Point.
Residents are required to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing. The government said it aims at finishing the exercise at around 7 am Wednesday.
The suspected re-positive case involved a 22-year-old man, the government said. He left Hong Kong in mid-April 2021 and returned to the city Sept 12 on flight QR818 from Serbia.
The specimen collected upon his arrival at the Hong Kong airport, as well as the four tests conducted during the compulsory quarantine period, were negative for COVID-19.
The Centre for Health Protection is also investigating two preliminary positive imported cases involving two women who had traveled back to the city from Jordan. They both carried the L452R mutant strain
Upon completion of the compulsory quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel on Sept 26, he returned to his North Point home for self-monitoring, during which he went for testing according to the relevant requirements.
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"His sample collected on Sept 27 at the community testing center at Ngau Tau Kok Road Sports Centre in Kwun Tong tested positive for COVID-19, with a Ct value larger than 30," the government said.
The patient has been asymptomatic. He received two doses of Covishield vaccine on June 15 and July 15 in India.
According to information provided by the patient, he tested positive for COVID-19 in India in April this year.
"After examining the epidemiological, clinical and laboratory findings, this case is compatible with a suspected re-positive overseas case," the government said.
Based on the overseas situation, the case "is very likely to involve a mutant strain," the government added.
"The risk of infection in the relevant area is assessed to be likely higher, so the government decided to make a 'restriction-testing declaration' for the relevant area after the test result was found to be positive."
The patient works at 18/F, Tower 2, The Quayside in Kwun Tong and last went to work on Sept 27.
"His workplace and the places he had visited during the incubation period will be included in a compulsory testing notice," the government said.
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Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection is also investigating two preliminary positive imported cases. One of the cases involved a 23-year-old woman who lives at Tung Yik Building in Yuen Long, and the other case involved a 24-year-old woman who lives at Block 20 of Fortune Garden in Yuen Long.
They tested negative in Hong Kong on Sept 11 and traveled to Jordan the following day on flight QR817.
They returned to Hong Kong on Sept 27 on flight QR818 and their specimens collected upon arrival at the Hong Kong airport tested positive for COVID-19. They carried the L452R mutant strain but not the N501Y or E484K mutant genes, the government said.
They had been asymptomatic and both had been fully vaccinated with the BioNTech shot, the CHP said.
"As a prudent measure, the building where they resided and the places they had visited in Hong Kong during the incubation period have been included in a compulsory testing notice," the CHP added.