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CHP investigates five additional confirmed cases of COVID-19
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) announced that as of 0.00am, October 27, the CHP was investigating five additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), taking the number of cases to 12 336 in Hong Kong so far (comprising 12 335 confirmed cases and one probable case).

     The newly reported cases are imported cases. Two of the cases involved mutant strains while the viral load of one case is insufficient for a mutation test, and the mutation test results of the two remaining cases are pending. The patients comprise two males and three females, aged 10 to 77. All of them arrived in Hong Kong from Group A specified places (high-risk). One patient tested positive during quarantine and the remaining four tested positive under the "test-and-hold" arrangement upon arrival at the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre at Hong Kong International Airport.

     Among the above-mentioned cases, case 12341 involves a 54-year-old male patient who lives at Graceful Mansion (Block H2), Siena Two, Discovery Bay. He is a cargo flight crew member. He left Hong Kong on October 21 for the United States and returned to Hong Kong on October 25 by flight CX075. His test conducted on October 19 in Hong Kong was negative. His specimen collected upon arrival in the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre at Hong Kong International Airport tested positive for COVID-19. He has been asymptomatic and received two doses of COVID-19 vaccination (Comirnaty) on March 10 and April 8 in Hong Kong. As a prudent measure, the places where he resided and visited in Hong Kong during the incubation period have been included in a compulsory testing notice. Specified persons who were present at the relevant venue at specified periods need to undergo compulsory testing on or before October 28.

     A total of 58 cases have been reported in the past 14 days (October 13 to 26) and all of them are imported cases.

     Moreover, as a passenger flight (EK384) operated by Emirates from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and Bangkok, Thailand, and arriving in Hong Kong on October 25 had three passengers confirmed to have COVID-19 by arrival testing, the DH thus invoked the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) to prohibit the landing of passenger flights from Dubai and Bangkok operated by Emirates in Hong Kong from October 27 to November 9.

     The CHP's epidemiological investigations and relevant contact tracing on the confirmed cases are ongoing. For case details and contact tracing information, please see the Annex or the list of buildings with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and the latest local situation of COVID-19 available on the website "COVID-19 Thematic Website" (www.coronavirus.gov.hk). The DH has also been closely monitoring the mutant strains of SARS CoV-2 and has uploaded the relevant information on Variants of Concern (VOCs) and Variants of Interest (VOIs), based on whole genome sequencing results, to the CHP's website (www.chp.gov.hk/en/statistics/data/10/641/100135/6973.html). The data will be updated regularly.

     The spokesman for the CHP stressed, "The global situation of COVID-19 infection remains severe and there is a continuous increase in the number of cases involving mutant strains that carry higher transmissibility, and there are also reports of breakthrough infections in some vaccinated individuals. The CHP strongly urges members of the public to avoid all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong, in particular to specified places with high risk under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H)."

     The spokesman reminded, "If travel is unavoidable, the CHP highly recommends the public to be fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines before their departure. They should avoid participating in non-essential mass gatherings or events held outside Hong Kong. They should continue to wear a surgical mask and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene at all times. Parents are also urged to avoid taking unvaccinated children travelling."

     The Government has launched the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. Members of the public are encouraged to get vaccinated. Details of the programme can be found at the designated website (www.covidvaccine.gov.hk). Generally speaking, COVID-19 vaccination can prevent COVID-19 infection, and if infected, reduce the risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19.

     ​​The CHP called on members of the public to pay attention to their health condition, seek medical advice early and undergo COVID-19 nucleic acid testing as soon as possible if respiratory symptoms develop. They should also maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene at all times to protect themselves against infection and prevent the spread of the disease in the community. For more related health advice, please refer to the website www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/health-advice.html.
Ends/Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Issued at HKT 14:15
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