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CHP investigates COVID-19 preliminary positive imported case at On Tin Estate in Lam Tin and provides update on latest investigations on imported case 12433 involving Omicron
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (December 2) said that it is investigating a preliminary positive imported case of COVID-19 involving the L452R mutant strain.

     The case involves a 28-year-old female patient who lives at On Kin House, On Tin Estate, Lam Tin. She departed Hong Kong on November 20 for the United States (US) after she tested negative for COVID-19 on November 18. She arrived in Hong Kong from the US by flight SQ007 on December 1 and her specimen collected upon arrival in the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) tested positive for COVID-19. The patient is symptomatic. Her Ct value is less than 30 and her specimen carried the L452R mutant strain (but was negative for the N501Y and E484K strains). She works at 10/F, Wheelock House, 20 Pedder Street, Central, and last went to work on November 19. She received two doses of COVID-19 vaccination (Comirnaty) on June 23 and July 14 in Hong Kong.

     Due to the presence of a mutant strain with higher transmissibility and risk of infection, the Government has adopted a prudent measure and will make a "restriction-testing declaration" tonight for the building where the patient resided in Hong Kong (On Kin House, On Tin Estate, Lam Tin). Her workplace and the places where she had visited in Hong Kong during the incubation period will also be included in a compulsory testing notice. Specified persons who were present at the relevant venues at specified periods need to undergo compulsory testing on the specified date. Epidemiological investigations and contact tracing of the case will continue.

     Also, the CHP provided an update on an imported case announced earlier which involved the Omicron mutant strain (case 12433). According to the latest epidemiological information, the CHP has classified 16 staff working at HKIA as close contacts of the case and they are required to undergo compulsory quarantine at Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre. Disinfection of the area where the case had stayed in HKIA was completed. All of the 13 post-disinfection environmental samples taken by the CHP from the concerned area have tested negative.

     The spokesman for the CHP said, "The Government has remained vigilant and has been closely monitoring the latest scientific data on mutant strains as well as the epidemic situation of various places. The most stringent anti-epidemic measures will be implemented to prevent the mutant strain from entering the local community."

     ‚ÄčAt the moment, the adverse impact on the epidemic situation caused by the newly emerged mutant strains is not fully known yet, but vaccination is still essential to prevent severe cases and deaths from COVID-19 infection. 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).
 
Ends/Thursday, December 2, 2021
Issued at HKT 20:00
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