Air transmission could be behind HK’s first two Omicron cases: HKU

07-Dec-2021 Intellasia | TheStandard | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The first two Omicron cases in Hong Kong may have involved air transmission inside a quarantine hotel, researchers from the University of Hong Kong said.

The two cases were a 62-year-old man flying into Hong Kong from Canada and a 36-year-old man from South Africa. They arrived in Hong Kong on November 10 and 11, respectively.

Health officials previously stated that the 62-year-old contracted the virus from the younger man who stayed on the same floor as him at the Regal Airport Hotel.

A HKU team published an article in a medical journal, saying the CCTV footage showed that two patients did not have any contact with each other. Nor did they go out of their hotel rooms.

Therefore, it was most likely that one infected the other via air transmission when they opened their room doors to collect food.

The study also found that the Omicron variant has a high number of mutant stinger proteins that can bypass the antibodies produced by Covid-19 vaccines.

Top US pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci earlier said that early indications suggest Omicron may be less dangerous than the Delta variant.

Infectious disease expert Ho Pak-leung said in a radio programme on Monday that given the limited global data on the Omicron variant, it was still too early to determine how lethal it is.

“South Africa has a relatively younger population with a low vaccination rate, so many of them could have been infected by Covid-19 before,” Ho said, explaining why many Omicron cases in the country did not show severe symptoms so far.

He added that statistics showed the new variant is more transmissible.‘s-first-two-Omicron-cases:-HKU


Category: Hong Kong

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