Local case prompts testing order for airport staff

Health officials on Sunday announced an order for everyone working at the airport to undergo a Covid test after a man came down with a mutant strain of the coronavirus.

The new local case is a 50-year-old airport worker whose preliminary positive result on Saturday led to an overnight lockdown of his place of residence – a block in Wong Tai Sin.

The Centre for Health Protection’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said more than 90 people considered to be his close contacts have been sent into quarantine, and mandatory testing has been ordered for people who’ve been to nine places he visited recently – including several restaurants and the Ocean Park.

Chuang said the man received the first dose of BioNTech vaccine on July 1.

She said he was a porter and would normally not come into contact with flight crew or passengers, and authorities are still trying to ascertain the source of his infection.

But since he’s the second airport worker infected with a mutant strain of Covid-19 in recent days, Chuang said authorities are worried there may be “silent transmissions” there.

“For all workers in the airport, they are considered high-risk because they may get into contact directly or indirectly with imported cases,” Chuang said.

“Of course, we urge all of them to get vaccinated as soon as possible, but in the mean time they should still get tested,” she said.

So far, there are no preliminary positive cases.