Covid-19: Hong Kong confirms first local case of Delta variant as quarantine tightened to 21 days for all UK arrivals
Authorities have confirmed that a locally transmitted coronavirus case of unknown origin carried the more infectious variant of the Delta virus.
The 27-year-old man who tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday carried the genetic sequence identical to the genomes of three previously imported cases, the Health Protection Center (CHP) announced on Friday.
It was the first locally transmitted case in Hong Kong to carry the Delta variant, which is more contagious than other mutant strains. Patients infected with the variant – which first appeared in the UK – also suffered more intense symptoms.
CHP said the 27-year-old, who worked at the Hong Kong International Airport as an airline ground staff member, also briefly worked at the airport’s temporary test center. .
Hong Kong reported four imported cases on Friday. The city has recorded 11,910 cases of Covid-19 and 211 deaths since the start of the pandemic more than a year ago.
Stricter quarantine measures
People arriving in the UK city, regardless of their vaccination status, will now have to undergo a 21-day quarantine from Monday due to the country suffering from widespread Covid-19 infections with the mutant Delta strain.
They will have to pass four tests during the quarantine period and undergo a seven-day self-monitoring period after the hotel quarantine period. Travelers from the UK will also need to take a mandatory test at one of the city’s community testing centers on the 26th day of arrival.
The government also announced an updated list of designated quarantine hotels on Friday, providing 10,700 rooms following reports of a shortage.
The administration had negotiated with hotels to open their previously booked rooms for reservations in order to increase the supply of rooms, a government spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
“The government has also secured an additional hotel as a temporary quarantine hotel,” the statement said. “We hope that these measures will better meet the demands of travelers to Hong Kong. The government will continue to monitor the situation closely. “