Hong Kong has confirmed 53 new COVID-19 cases, 47 local cases and 20 cases of unknown origin, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health said on The afternoon of December 23, Hong Kong Radio News reported.
Genetic sequencing of two of the confirmed students from the UK appears to match the new variant.
The public Laboratory is conducting genetic analysis of the virus, particularly samples from 11 imported cases from the UK, and has found that samples from two of the cases are similar to the mutated virus found in the UK, said Cheung Chuk Chun, director of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection.
Both cases involve overseas students. One case number is 7077. On December 7, he returned to Hong Kong by plane and was hospitalized after confirmation.
The other case no. 7631 was flown back to Hong Kong on 13 December. The patient has recovered and has been discharged from hospital.
In addition, among the two patients, case 7,631 returned to Hong Kong alone, while case 7,077 had three friends returning to Hong Kong together. Zhang said the three have been listed as close contacts and relevant people have been informed to continue quarantine.
She admitted that the introduction of the mutated virus was “expected” and that it was difficult to estimate the situation and risk of community transmission.
Hong Kong has so far had 1,900 imported cases, 22% of them from the United Kingdom.
Large numbers of Hong Kong residents returned from the UK as the holiday break approached.
From 24, people arriving from the UK will be subject to 21 days of mandatory quarantine
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health, Chan Shiu-shih, said that people arriving from the UK will be required to undergo a mandatory 21-day quarantine at designated hotels from tomorrow (December 24), huanqiu.com reported.
She said there had been cases in Other European countries such as Denmark, and the HKSAR government would extend the period for the actual situation.
Mrs Lam: New regulations have been made to make the novel Coronavirus vaccine available for urgent use
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced at a press conference on Monday that the Special meeting of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on the same day had enacted new regulations to approve the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.
The Executive Council has also amended the existing regulation to change the mandatory quarantine period from the current 14 days to not more than 28 days.
Who: The NEW COVID-19 strain emerging in the UK is not out of control
According to reference sources, the World Health Organization has warned against a major panic over the highly contagious novel Coronavirus new variant appearing in the UK, calling it a normal part of the evolution of an epidemic.
Who officials stress that the new COVID-19 strain emerging in the UK can be contained.
“The situation is not out of control, but we cannot let it go,” Michael Ryan, executive director of who’s Health Emergency Planning department, said at a press conference.
“Although the new variant is more transmissible than the previously known COVID-19 strain, it is still far less infectious than measles, mumps and chicken pox,” Ryan said.
Novel Coronavirus has so far mutated at a much slower rate than influenza, WHO officials said.
COVID-19 vaccines should also be able to cope with these new variants, although verification is being carried out to ensure that this is the case.