9 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases reported today including colleague of female security guard at Penny’s Bay who preliminarily tests positive (Updated: 5pm)

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14th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) Dr.Chuang Shuk-kwan from Centre for Health Protection announced at the 4.30pm press conference today that there were a total of 9 new COVID-19 cases reported as of 12am today. The newly reported cases consist of six imported cases, two cases epidemiologically linked with imported cases and one local case. All of the cases involved mutant strains. The patients comprise four males and five females, aged 21 to 48.

The total number of cases in Hong Kong has reached 13,025. Fewer than 10 preliminary cases were also recorded today, including a colleague of a female security guard at Penny’s Bay. In addition, as of now, there are a total of 327 Omicron cases reported in Hong Kong, 35 are locally transmitted Omicron cases and 60 are highly likely to be Omicron cases. Meanwhile, Dr.Edwin Tsui, Controller of the Centre for Health Protection said that there were 60 local Omicron cases, mainly spread by two clusters. Hence, there is potential invisible transmission chain in the community in particular in Tuen Mun after the family cluster outbreak at Tung Ah Pharmacy in H.A.N.D.S.

Among the cases today, the Pakistani male construction worker (Case No. 13022) and a part-time Foodpanda courier who preliminarily tested positive yesterday (13th) was tested negative after he was admitted to the hospital. No T478K variant virus was found, and further observation was required due to the low viral load. The patient lives in Yat Wan House, Tin Yat Estate, Tin Shui Wai and he was involved in the replacement of a gas pipe on Tai Po Road (Yuen Chau Tsai). Initial investigation revealed that he has no recent travel history and has not visited places where cases that tested positive appeared. The CHP has so far not found any close contacts between the case and other recent cases that tested positive, and is now investigating the places where the patient visited in the past 21 days in order to ascertain the infection source and to terminate the silent transmission chains in the community

The two cases epidemiologically linked with imported cases are Case No. 13026 (21-year-old female who worked at the clinic at Gold Coast Piazza on 3rd January when cases no. 12987 and 12988 sought medical attention there) and Case No. 13027 (46-year-old female who is a household contact of Case No. 12860).

As for the two 21-year-old and 22-year-old nurses who work at JP Partners Medical Centre Limited in Tuen Mun, one of them lives in Block 2 of Hoi Tak Gardens.

The 22-year-old is a nurse who works at three clinics of JP Partners Medical in Tuen Mun (Gold Coast Piazza; Lin Wong Building, 2-14 Tak Ching Court; and New Town Mansion, Tuen Lee Street), same as Case No. 13026. The sample tested preliminary positive by a private laboratory with a Ct value larger than 30. Testing by the PHLSB confirmed that the sample does not carry the N501Y mutant strain but carried the D614D strain, which is compatible with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine strain. The test result for the virus after admission to hospital was negative and she did not have any conditions that could be caused by a real infection. As the sample was taken at a clinic of JP Partners Medical in Chi Lok Fa Yuen, the CHP visited the relevant clinic today to understand the situation. Initial analysis revealed that the positive test results of the sample were not caused by infection. After examining the clinical, epidemiological and laboratory findings, the CHP considered that the case is compatible with vaccine strain contamination and hence will not be classified as a case of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. The quarantine order of her close contacts will be lifted.

The CHP has taken samples from the clinic in Tuen Mun, and the University of Hong Kong confirmed that it was a vaccine virus and it was not a real infection. An indeterminate case in the same Block 2, Hoi Tak Gardens this morning was re-examined and no virus was detected. The preliminary cases recorded today include a 51-year-old female colleague of the infected female security guard at Penny’s Bay. They had lunch together and the nature of work is similar. They both also work for China Overseas Property Services Limited. It is believed that they infected each other. She has not been in contact with other confirmed cases. She lives at Tower 4 of Bauhinia Garden in Tseung Kwan O and her last day of work was on 11th January.

Another close contact of a confirmed case was infected, the patient also lives in Maple Gardens Phase 3.

Meanwhile, the whole genome sequencing analysis of cases announced earlier conducted by the PHLSB confirmed that cases no. 12667, 12668, 12691, 12769, 12799, 12811, 12855, 12862, 12865, 12868, 12871, 12874, 12877 to 12885, 12887 to 12904, 12906, 12907, 12911 to 12914, 12916 to 12928, 12930 to 12937, 12939, 12940 and 13004 all carried the Variant of Concern Omicron. Together with the aforementioned cases, there are so far 396 cases involving Omicron in Hong Kong.

 As at 9am today, 12 patients who had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus (case numbers: 12531, 12541, 12588, 12593, 12643, 12665, 12669, 12678, 12735, 12745, 12795 and 12929) were discharged from hospital in the last 24 hours. So far, a total of 12,339 patients have been discharged.

 A total of 428 patients who had tested positive are currently hospitalised in the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre, the Hospital Authority (HA) Infectious Disease Centre, the Community Treatment Facility at AsiaWorld-Expo and a public hospital. All of them are in stable condition.

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