Health officials have reclassified a hotel cleaner’s coronavirus infection as linked to an imported one, meaning Hong Kong’s run of zero local Covid-19 cases, now at 28 days, remains intact.
The city confirmed just one imported Covid-19 infection on Monday, an arrival from Britain, while a local health expert warned that a plan by Singapore to shift away from a zero-case strategy could leave Hong Kong exposed to a higher risk of variant strains when its long-awaited travel bubble with the city state finally launched.
In another development, the US consulate in Hong Kong said it would close its offices on Tuesday for disinfection after an employee tested preliminary-positive for Covid-19.
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“The US Consulate General takes seriously Covid-19 prevention and containment. Out of an abundance of caution, while we await confirmation test results, we have closed our offices on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 to perform a deep disinfection,” it said in a statement on Monday evening.
It is not the first Covid-19 scare involving the consulate, as a couple working there and their daughter tested positive in March.
The Centre for Health Protection, meanwhile, said genetic sequencing of a virus sample from the part-time cleaner who worked at the Bridal Tea House Hotel, a designated quarantine hotel, in Yau Ma Tei was the same as that of gene fragments taken from a domestic helper from Indonesia.The cleaner, 41, was last week confirmed with the more transmissive L452R variant, which has been linked to several coronavirus mutants, including the Delta one first reported in India.
The helper had earlier stayed in the hotel, with the employee assigned to cleaning her room.
The cleaner was initially classified as a local case with an unknown source.
The last time Hong Kong recorded a community case was on June 7, when a 20-year-old woman, whose younger sister contracted the Alpha variant locally, was confirmed as infected.