Coronavirus: HK confirms 9 new Covid-19 cases

15-Jan-2022 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong confirmed nine new coronavirus cases and reported fewer than 10 preliminary-positive infections on Friday.

The last time the city reported a single-digit daily tally was December 28.

Health officials in recent days have been tracking two Omicron clusters traced back to Cathay Pacific aircrew members who introduced the variant into the community after returning to the city on cargo flights, making them exempt from hotel quarantine.

One crew member transmitted the virus to her mother, who then went on to become the centre of a cluster of 45 confirmed infections involving residents who met to dance socially in Causeway Bay.

The other crew member, who flouted home isolation rules, sparked an outbreak that began at the Moon Palace restaurant in Kowloon Tong’s Festival Walk shopping centre. That cluster has since grown to 15 confirmed cases.

The clusters have particularly affected Tuen Mun district, where at least 11 recently confirmed Covid-19 patients live.

Nine of the Tuen Mun cases were linked to the Moon Palace cluster, while four including a security guard at the government’s Penny’s Bay quarantine centre were tied to the dance cluster.

The government announced on Friday that it would distribute 3,000 free rapid test kits to Tuen Mun residents, though they are only meant to enable earlier detection of infections, and do not fulfil compulsory screening requirements.

Hundreds of residents ordered to undergo compulsory screening in the district had complained about long waiting times.

Since the start of the pandemic the city has logged 13,025 confirmed infections, with 213 related deaths.

Dr Joseph Tsang Kay-yan, co-chair of the Medical Association’s advisory committee on communicable diseases, on Friday said he believed the current outbreak could be contained sometime around Lunar New Year in February if community transmissions were kept to a minimum and there were no untraceable cases.

“For now we cannot see a wider outbreak within the community, for example in Tuen Mun, where the community testing took place, or in residential buildings that received compulsory testing orders,” he told a radio programme. “But we still need to pay close attention in the next few days.”


Category: Hong Kong

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