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HK reports 6 imported virus cases

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating six additional imported COVID-19 cases, five of which involve mutant strains while the remaining case's mutation test result is pending.   The patients, aged one to 45, arrived from high-risk places including France, the Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Nepal and Bangladesh.   Four of them tested positive upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport while the other two were confirmed infected with the virus during quarantine.   Regarding the cluster of two cases in the Regal Airport Hotel, case numbers 12388 and 12404, the centre noted that it has arranged for a total of 12 people to undergo compulsory quarantine at the Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre for 14 days.   Such individuals had stayed in the three rooms to the left and to the right of the two rooms concerned, 5111 and 5112, in the hotel (12 rooms in total from rooms 5105 to 5120) from November 11 to 14.   In addition, the University of Hong Kong's whole genome sequencing analysis further confirmed that case numbers 12388 and 12404 had highly similar genetic sequences and the viruses belonged to the newly emerged lineage B.1.1.529.   The centre explained that the sequences are similar to those found in South Africa and Botswana, supporting that case number 12388, arriving in Hong Kong from South Africa, was the index case.   Meanwhile, specified people linked to Way Man Court in Happy Valley, Jovial Court of Peninsula Village in Discovery Bay and Winning House in Sheung Wan are reminded to get tested tomorrow in accordance with the compulsory testing notice.   The mobile specimen collection station at the open area outside Jovial Court will reopen tomorrow to provide free testing services.   In view of three previous imported cases involving patients who had stayed in Hong Kong during the incubation period, people who had been at five specified premises during the specified period need to undergo additional testing according to the latest compulsory testing notice.   Three schools are also covered in the notice due to outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection or influenza-like illness.   As Nepal Airlines flight RA409 from Kathmandu, Nepal, which arrived in Hong Kong on November 23, had one passenger on board confirmed infected with COVID-19 by arrival testing and three passengers failed to comply with the requirements specified under the Prevention & Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances & Travellers) Regulation, the Department of Health has prohibited the landing of the airline's passenger flights from Kathmandu from November 26 to December 9.   A total of 37 cases were reported in Hong Kong in the past 14 days, all of which are imported.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.
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