This Nov 14, 2021 picture shows a passenger scanning a QR code required by the Hong Kong government for contact tracing due to COVID-19 measures, before boarding a bus operated by a Hong Kong travel agency offering five-hour "quiet bus" tour marketed as a "route to nowhere" for travel-craving residents to snooze on board in Hong Kong. (BERTHA WANG / AFP)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong government cordoned off a building in Tung Chung on Saturday night as the city reported 17 new COVID-19 cases and eight more Omicron infections.
In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the government said it set up a "restricted area" at Tower 6, Albany Cove, Caribbean Coast Phase II, 1 Kin Tung Road, Tung Chung after a resident tested preliminarily positive for a mutant strain.
Residents were told to remain in their premises and have themselves tested. The government said it expected to finish the targeted testing operation by 6 am Sunday.
In a separate statement, the Centre for Health Protection said eight male patients, aged 16 to 76, tested positive for the Omicron variant, bringing the city’s tally of Omicron cases to 95.
The Centre for Health Protection said said eight male patients, aged 16 to 76, tested positive for the Omicron variant, bringing the city’s tally of Omicron cases to 95
They included the 76-year-old father of a Cathay Pacific aircrew member who had earlier been infected with the mutant strain and the 34-year-old construction worker who had lunch at Moon Palace in Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong while the father and son were also eating there.
The CHP said that 44 environmental samples were taken during a field inspection of the restaurant but none of them tested positive.
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On the other hand, whole genome sequencing analysis confirmed that the aircrew member, his father, the construction worker, and another Cathay aircrew member have strains with identical genetic sequences, the CHP said.
Meanwhile, the 17 new cases on Saturday consisted of 16 imported infections and one possibly import-related case involving a 30-year-old woman who lives at The Block 2, Grandeur Terrace, Tin Shui Wai.
She is an airport ground crew staff member whose specimen collected on Dec 30 tested positive. Her building was cordoned off Friday night and 1,122 residents were tested but no new infection was found.
“Fifteen of the (17 new) cases involved mutant strains; mutation test result of one case is pending; while the viral load of the remaining one case is insufficient for mutation test,” the CHP said.
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Besdeis the woman from Tin Shiu Wai, the other patients included eight women and one man from the Philippines; three men from the United States; two women from Canada and Nepal; a woman who traveled to Singapore, Australia and The Netherlands; and another woman who had gone to France and Germany.
A total of 136 cases tested positive for the virus were reported from Dec 18 to 31. Three of them are import-related cases, while the rest were imported, the CHP said.