Coronavirus: Hong Kong airport worker tests preliminary-positive, threatening city’s 50-day streak of no local infections | South China Morning Post
Coronavirus: Hong Kong airport worker tests preliminary-positive, threatening city’s 50-day streak of no local infections
The man, vaccinated and regularly tested as part of his job, would be the first local case since another airport employee tested positive in AugustCity also confirms eight new imported cases, while elder care sector representative touts positive response to new jabs scheme
A Hong Kong airport worker has tested preliminary-positive for Covid-19, potentially ending the city’s 50-day streak of zero local infections.The development emerged as an industry insider on Thursday said the government’s new pilot scheme to ramp up vaccination rates among residents of care homes for the elderly was receiving a positive response.
Local health authorities also confirmed eight new imported cases involving arrivals from Pakistan, Nepal and the Philippines.
A more worrying situation centred on Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited, confirming an earlier Post report that health officials were investigating one of its employees, who tested positive for the coronavirus in the morning.The 48-year-old man, who works as an airport cargo handler, had undergone weekly Covid-19 testing as part of his job requirements. He had tested negative on September 29 but a sample he submitted on Wednesday was found to be preliminarily-positive for the L452R mutant strain, the Centre for Health Protection said.He tested negative for the N501Y and E484K strains.The asymptomatic patient had no recent travel history and mainly worked at SuperTerminal 1, which handles air cargo. The man, who last worked on Thursday, was vaccinated on June 25 and July 28.In a related development, the authorities locked down Golden Glory Court, where the airport worker lives, in Sha Tin’s Golden Lion Garden at 7pm for compulsory testing of residents. The operation was expected to finish at about 6am on Friday. Hong Kong has gone 50 days without a confirmed local infection – since a 47-year-old airport lounge worker tested positive for Covid-19 in August. In that case, some experts suggested the woman might have been infected by transit passengers rather than in the community.Respiratory medicine specialist Dr Leung Chi-chiu said it was no coincidence that the last few local cases, including the lounge worker and another staff member at the cargo company, came from areas in contact with the outside world.“The airport has always been the highest-risk area due to the amount of international cargo and passengers that go through it every day,” he said.Leung said authorities should not drop their guard and keep testing airport workers twice a week, “especially if they are vaccinated”, as being inoculated would reduce symptoms and make infections harder to detect without regular screening.