‘Delta variant may be spreading in Hong Kong’

Health authorities on Sunday warned that the Delta variant of Covid-19 appears to be spreading in Hong Kong, on top of recently reported Omicron cases.

The Centre for Health Protection said a 23-year-old woman has tested preliminary positive for the virus, involving the L452R mutant strain found in Delta.

The woman works at the Little Boss pet shop in Causeway Bay and had hotpot with friends in Yau Ma Tei.

She had also stayed at a hotel in Wan Chai before developing symptoms like sore throat and coughing.

The centre’s Chuang Shuk-kwan said officials are still trying to trace the source of her infection.

“There may be Delta strain circulating. So it is not only restricted to the Omicron cases we detected recently. So of course we’re very worried whether there are other sources of infections that have not been detected. As for the source of [her] infection, we’re still investigating,” she said.

In all, authorities reported 11 Covid-19 cases on Sunday, eight of which are imported.

One of the confirmed cases involve a woman from Pakistan who tested positive for the virus, just days after completing her quarantine at the Silka Seaview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei.

Authorities said their investigation suggests that there may be cross-infection at the hotel, after the woman and five other guests staying in four different rooms across two separate floors recently came down with Covid-19.

After inspecting the hotel, HKU microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said he believes the virus may have spread through the corridors when the doors of the guest rooms were opened.

Yuen noted that the hotel and their staff had complied with all safety regulations, adding that any risks could be minimised by further improving air changes at the facility and making sure rooms are equipped with air purifiers.

He also said guests who are staying close to the affected rooms would have to be quarantined for an extra 14 days as a precaution.