Staff member of Russian Consulate General tests preliminarily positive for COVID-19 variant, Tower 1 at Grand Promenade under lockdown testing

Grand Promenade

15th October 20212 – (Hong Kong)   The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) said today that it is investigating a preliminary positive imported case of COVID-19 involving the L452R mutant strain.

The case involves a 55-year-old male patient who lives at Tower 1, Grand Promenade, 38 Tai Hong Street, Sai Wan Ho. He is a staff member of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in the Hong Kong SAR, PRC. He left Hong Kong on 22nd August for Russia and returned to Hong Kong on 5th October by flight AY101 via Finland from Russia. His specimen collected upon arrival in the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre at Hong Kong International Airport was negative for COVID-19. He then underwent self-isolation at home under the relevant arrangement for exempted persons, during which he underwent compulsory testing on specified testing dates in accordance with the relevant requirements. The sample he submitted on 14th October tested preliminarily positive, with a Ct value of about 15-16. His specimen carried the L452R mutant strain (but was negative for the N501Y and E484K strains).

 The patient has been asymptomatic and received two doses of COVID-19 vaccination (CoronaVac) on 29th June and 27th July in Hong Kong. According to information provided by the patient, he had stayed at home after his arrival.

As the patient had stayed in Hong Kong during the past 21 days, the Government has adopted a prudent measure and will make a “restriction-testing declaration”  for the building where the patient resided in Hong Kong (Tower 1, Grand Promenade, 38 Tai Hong Street, Sai Wan Ho) effective from 7pm today. Residents are required to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing. Persons subject to compulsory testing are required to stay in their premises until all such persons identified in the “restricted area” have undergone testing and the test results are mostly ascertained. The Government aims at finishing this exercise at about 7am tomorrow.

  A Government spokesman said, “Under Cap. 599J, the Government can, according to the needs of infection control, make a ‘restriction-testing declaration’. As a preliminary positive case arriving from overseas who has lived in the abovementioned building upon arrival in Hong Kong was detected today, and the preliminary test result involved a mutant strain, the risk of infection in the relevant area is assessed to be likely higher, so the Government decided to make a ‘restriction-testing declaration’ for the relevant area after the test result was found to be positive.”
The Government will set up temporary specimen collection stations at the “restricted area” and request persons subject to compulsory testing to undergo testing before 1am tomorrow. Arrangements will be made for persons subject to compulsory testing to undergo a nucleic acid test at specimen collection stations where dedicated staff will collect samples through combined nasal and throat swabs. Persons subject to compulsory testing must stay at their place of residence until all test results are ascertained to avoid cross-infection risk. The Government will arrange for door-to-door specimen collection for people with impaired mobility and elderly persons.