Health Dept 'sorry' over consular staff mix-up - RTHK
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Health Dept 'sorry' over consular staff mix-up

2020-10-19 HKT 22:04
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  • Health officials at the airport mistakenly let the man go home when he should have been placed under quarantine at a hotel room. File Photo: AFP
    Health officials at the airport mistakenly let the man go home when he should have been placed under quarantine at a hotel room. File Photo: AFP
The Department of Health on Monday apologised over a mistake in which a staff member of the Indian consulate was mistakenly exempted from quarantine and allowed to go home before he tested positive for Covid-19.

The man, 25, flew into Hong Kong from India last Thursday with proof of a negative coronavirus test along with details of his employment with the Indian consulate here.

As a consular staff member, officials determined that he was exempted from the quarantine arrangements, and allowed him to leave the airport after collecting a saliva sample from him.

The department said the consulate then arranged a car to take the man from the airport to his home in Pokfulam, where he was placed under medical surveillance.

However, tests on his sample came back positive, and he was taken to a public hospital later on the same day.

Upon reviewing the case, officials then found out that the man does not belong to a rank under which he should have been exempted, and should have been quarantined in a hotel room like anyone else.

In a statement, the department said the patient had told them he did not leave his home before his test results came back.

“The department expressed its apologies for the inappropriate quarantine arrangement and has reminded relevant staff to be prudent when handling quarantine exemption arrangements to avoid recurrence of similar incidents,” a department spokesman said.