Couple arriving from San Francisco test positive for Omicron sub-lineage BA.2.12.1, vertical transmission suspected at Lan Kwai Fong Hotel in Kau U Fong


20th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) There were 11 more cases of Omicron sub-lineage BA.2.12.1 in Hong Kong today (20th), including a couple who were diagnosed on the 12th day of arrival in Hong Kong. They took Cathay Pacific flight no CX841 last Friday (13th) from San Francisco.

After arriving in Hong Kong, he stayed in Room 3304 of the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel in Kau U Fong for quarantine. Another father and son who lived in another room no 3204 in the same hotel also tested positive. Government expert advisor, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong, and Dr.Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health, visited the hotel this afternoon. Among them, Yuen said that he would collect samples of the hotel environment to further determine the transmission route. Vertical transmission, or the chimney effect may be involved, but the quarantined persons in the hotel do not need to be evacuated for the time being. The EPD pointed out that the hotel’s air-conditioning system was operating normally, and the pipes were not damaged, but the pipes were connected to the 32nd and 33rd floors, so vertical transmission was suspected.

The couple had no previous COVID-19 infection records, but because the virus detected this time was Omicron sub-lineage BA.2.12.1, the contagiousness might be higher, and the two were active in the community including going to restaurants. Therefore, for the sake of prudence, the authorities have included 11 places that the two people have visited in the latest Compulsory Testing Notice.

All citizens who have visited the places at the relevant time must be tested on 21st and 22nd May. After the couple who arrived in Hong Kong from the United States completed the quarantine, they returned to their residence in Shau Kei Wan.