Hong Kong reports eight new Covid cases

Health authorities on Saturday reported eight new imported Covid infections.

Three of the new confirmed patients flew in from Pakistan, two from Indonesia, and the rest were from India, Nepal and the Philippines.

None showed any symptoms, and all but one were fully vaccinated.

Health authorities also said they were looking further into a Covid case confirmed on Friday involving a 48-year-old cargo handler at the airport.

They said genetic sequencing analysis showed that the L452R mutant strain the man carried belonged to the Delta variant, but further research was need to find the infection source.

The Environmental Protection Department said sewage samples that were collected on Thursday from Golden Lion Garden – where the cargo handler lives – had tested positive for Covid.

But it noted the viral load of the samples was low, adding that it would collect more samples when the weather permitted.

Meanwhile, Polytechnic University researchers said their genetic sequencing analysis shows that the man’s sample closely resembled a case in Britain that was recorded late last month.

Gilman Siu from the university’s Department of Health Technology and Informatics said there were only seven different genetic mutations between the two patients’ samples and both carried the Delta variant.

He said the two infections may not be directly related, but it was probable the source of the local patient’s infection was from Britain.

“I think it was very likely [he was] infected by some imported case, but we cannot rule out the possibility that he got infected through some contaminated cargo,” he said.