22nd November 2021 – (Hong Kong) There were 2 imported COVID-19 variant cases last week. After the patients arrived in Hong Kong, they were diagnosed during the mandatory inspection at the Regal Airport Hotel in Chek Lap Kok and were found to have the N501Y variant virus. Both patients’ rooms were also located on the 5th floor. In addition, the Centre for Health Protection has found that the hotel’s environmental samples contained the virus. It is suspected that there is an epidemic outbreak in the hotel. Government expert consultant and Chair Professor of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong, Yuen Kwok-yung, visited the hotel tonight (22nd) and said that the genome sequencing results of the two patients were exactly the same, proving that the two infected each other, and the virus was estimated to be airborne.
For the sake of prudence, from the 11th to the 14th of this month, people who have in the left 3 rooms or right 3 rooms of the 2 affected rooms on the 5th floor need to be quarantined for another 14 days after leaving the hotel on the last day of their existing quarantine.
The patient involved is a 36-year-old Indian male patient who lived in Room 5112, which is believed to be the patient zero and the virus was transmitted to the opposite Room 5111 which is the room where a 62-year-old Chinese man was quarantined. Both of them stayed in their respective rooms from 11th to 14th November. The 36-year-old man did not wear a mask half of the time when he opened the door. Even if he did, he only wore a respirator mask.
The authorities have inspected the hotel environmental samples, and out of 87 environmental samples, 25 were found to contain the virus. Yuen pointed out that the 36-year-old Indian male patient used a Particulate Respirator mask which air could not be properly filtered. Yuen pointed out that this mask is not suitable for the quarantine period.
He also suggested that the hotel place air filters at 6 locations on the 5th floor. Finally, he called on the public to use filter masks. The 36-year-old Indian male patient who spread the virus was diagnosed last Monday (15th). He was not infected when tested in Hong Kong on 22nd October and left Hong Kong for South Africa the next day. He took the flight back to Hong Kong via QR818 on the 11th of this month. He was not diagnosed at the Hong Kong International Airport when he arrived in Hong Kong. When he was quarantined at the Regal Airport Hotel, he was diagnosed on 3rd November, with a CT value of 18, which means that the virus load was high, but he had no symptoms. As for the 62-year-old Chinese man who was infected, he arrived in Hong Kong on the AC007 flight from Canada on 10th November and stayed at the Regal Airport Hotel in Chek Lap Kok on the 8th day, last Thursday (18th). He was diagnosed with a CT value of 19-20.
In addition, it is understood that in addition to the above two cases who have stayed at the Regal Airport Hotel, the 23-year-old man who was diagnosed today and arrived in Hong Kong from the United States has also stayed in the above hotel and stayed in the room on the same floor as the above cases. It is unknown whether it is related. He returned to Hong Kong from Canada earlier, checked into the Regal Airport Hotel for quarantine, and then went to the United States a few days later. He returned to Hong Kong last Saturday (20th). Since he had lived in Hong Kong during the incubation period, his residence at Jovial Court, Discovery Bay, was included in the compulsory testing list on the 21st of November.