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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Lock down in Tuen Mun and Discovery Bay following infections of Cathay air crew

Lock down in Tuen Mun and Discovery Bay following infections of Cathay air crew

Fresh lock downs have been announced after three Cathay Pacific crew tested positive of Covid-19, among whom two visited a big number of places during the Christmas holidays.
The buildings involved were Tower 1, The SeaCrest, Tuen Mun, and Twilight Court in Discovery Bay. The lock downs were expected to finish by Wednesday morning.

The three air crew were among six confirmed and 14 preliminary positive cases announced on Tuesday.

One was a 45-year-old flight attendant who returned to Hong Kong on a cargo flight from New York on Friday. He tested negative on arrival and went home to One South Lane, Sheung Wan.

On Saturday, he shopped at Miniso in Sheung Wan around 10.30am then took a 962X bus and had lunch with another flight attendant -- the preliminary positive case -- in the latter's home at The Sea Crest in Tuen Mun.

Then he took a 961 bus home. Around 7pm on Sunday he went to the community test center at Shek Tong Tsui Sports Centre in Sai Ying Pun. And on Monday he bought a takeaway lunch at Malacca Cuisine at Nice Garden on Queen's Road West before his test results came back positive.

That triggered an overnight lockdown at One South Lane on Monday, though no one tested positive.

His friend in Tuen Mun, a 44-year-old Cathay crew member, returned to Hong Kong on a cargo flight from Chicago on Saturday.

Around 11am on Monday, he took a 60X bus from his Tuen Mun home to Prince Edward before switching to the MTR to Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong, where he went to an Apple Store to fix his phone and had lunch with two family members at Moon Palace.

After that he took the MTR to Shek Tong Tsui Sports Centre for his Covid-19 test and then a 961 bus home. His Tuen Mun residential building was locked down tonight.

The third case was a 45-year-old air crew who arrived on a cargo flight on Saturday. He lives in Twilight Court at Discovery Bay and mostly stayed at home, except for Sunday when he went to Shek Tong Tsui Sports Centre for a Covid-19 test.

Twilight Court was locked down tonight.

Asked if the 44-year-old could have contracted the coronavirus from his friend, the head of the Centre for Health Protection's communicable disease unit, Chuang Shuk-kwan, said both had recent travel history, but results of whole genome sequencing -- now pending -- were needed to see if their infections came from the same source.

Authorities last month announced that cargo aircrew must stay at home for the first three days of arrival and only go out for “necessary” purposes.

A Cathay spokesman said two crewmen had “not fully complied with the company's internal enhanced anti-epidemic measures during the three-day period after arrival."

Without specifying possible consequences, he added: “We will follow up the cases in accordance with standard internal procedures.”

Cathay last month sacked three infected pilots for breaching internal guidelines during a stay in Frankfurt.

Centre for Health Protection controller Edwin Tsui Lok-kin said Hong Kong has 74 Omicron cases, and the fast-spreading variant made up 78 percent of the SAR's cases last week and 95 percent from Sunday.

He said the infection risks in cargo crews will increase as the Omicron variant spreads worldwide, and the arrangement for them to self-isolate at home will not be sufficient.

“We will soon tighten the policy and require them to observe a three-day hotel quarantine upon arrival as most cases are detected in the first four days of arrival,” he said.

Tsui warned too that the SAR is at “a very high risk” of a fifth wave because of the transmission strength of Omicron.

Meanwhile, Brunei Darussalam and Paraguay will be listed as high-risk regions from Friday midnight to ban non-Hong Kong residents from entering the SAR.

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