Third Omicron variant case confirmed in HK involves arrival from Nigeria, 3 new imported cases reported today


29th November 2021 – (Hong Kong) Secretary for Food and Health Dr.Sophia Chan held a press conference with other senior officials from the Department of Health at 3.30pm today.

Chan said that the mutant virus strain Omicron is the most mutated one since the outbreak, and it spreads very quickly around the world. Therefore, the Hong Kong government has to “be more rigorous” in preventing a possible outbreak.

She also pointed out that there have been three imported cases of Omicron variant virus in Hong Kong, and none of the three have entered the community. Two of them were found during entry quarantine earlier, and the third was found yesterday. She announced that if the Omicron variant virus is found in a community in an overseas area, people entering the relevant area will be required to be quarantined at the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Center for the first 7 days and be tested daily before they can go to the quarantine hotel to complete their remaining 14 days of quarantine.

She pointed out that in the future, this approach will be extended to other Group A risk groups as needed. She said that in the future, testing capabilities will be strengthened, and full genome sequencing will be done for each confirmed variant virus case, so as to contribute to the study of new variant viruses. She also reiterated that people who have not been vaccinated should get the COVID-19 vaccine soon and emphasised that the threat of Omicron should not be ignored.

Chan pointed out that there were 3 newly confirmed cases in Hong Kong, all of which were imported cases. She mentioned that the confirmed case announced yesterday, the male patient number Case No. 12432, arrived in Hong Kong from Nigeria via Ethiopia o 24th November and stayed at the Ramada Hotel in North Point for quarantine. The test on the third day was positive. He was confirmed to be an Omicron variant carrier.

Chan said that there is no impact of Omicron on quarantine-free border reopening in the Mainland at present, no cases have flowed into the community so far. There has been no decision to prohibit entry of Hong Kong residents from relevant areas for the time being. However, when more information about Omicron is available in the future, the decision may be changed.

All three patients who were diagnosed with Omicron are all hospitalised in the North Lantau Hospital, and no special drugs were given for the time being.