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270 COVID-19 cases recorded

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 270 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 116 were detected by nucleic acid tests and 154 were identified via rapid antigen tests.   Among the new cases, 31 are imported while the rest are locally infected.   Since the onset of the fifth wave of the epidemic, 1,199,227 people have contracted the virus. One more patient passed away, bringing the total number of deaths in the fifth wave to 9,163.   Moreover, the Hospital Authority announced that a staff member of Haven of Hope Hospital’s catering department tested positive through a rapid antigen test on Thursday. Contact tracing revealed that four more employees from the same department who had dined or stayed in the same accommodation as the patient had also caught COVID-19. These four staff and seven other staff who have been identified as close contacts will be quarantined.   As a precautionary measure, the hospital’s catering department has temporarily suspended o

Probe on crew infection updated

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) today said the compulsory quarantine for 111 aircrew members of Cathay Pacific Airways, in relation to the same hotel in Germany where three imported COVID-19 cases involving local aircrew had stayed, could be lifted.   It explained that the decision was based on the latest epidemiological information concerning the three infection cases and arrangements have been made for the aircrew concerned to be released from the quarantine centre.   In the CHP's earlier investigations, the three patients claimed they had not left their hotel rooms during their stay in Frankfurt, implying that the hotel was the only possible common source of their infection.   Based on the findings of the investigation report submitted by Cathay Pacific on November 18, the centre followed up on the three cases for their itinerary during their layover in Frankfurt. They subsequently admitted that they had left their hotel rooms, visited places near the hotel multiple times and met each other or a friend outside it.   In parallel, the CHP has provided information on the three cases and the hotel they stayed at to the health authority of Germany. Investigation by such health authority found that no cases in Germany have been reported in connection with the hotel and there is no known outbreak in it.   As the genetic sequences of the three cases are highly similar and according to latest investigation findings, it is very likely that they acquired the infection from each other or a common source outside the hotel and the possibility of an outbreak in the hotel was relatively low.   The CHP has further carried out an investigation on the aircrew who have been put under quarantine in relation to the hotel and confirmed that 10 aircrew should be classified as close contacts of the three cases. They will continue to be quarantined.   For the remaining 111 aircrew members, they had a history of staying in the same hotel but had no contact with the three cases outside the hotel in Germany. Cathay Pacific has also verified that such aircrew had no contact with the three cases outside the hotel.   The CHP said it will further probe if any of the cases have violated the Prevention & Control of Disease (Disclosure of Information) Regulation and provided inaccurate information to hinder the public health investigation.   Enforcement action will be taken if necessary, it added.
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