Govt tightens flight ban to fight mutant strain - RTHK
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Govt tightens flight ban to fight mutant strain

2021-04-18 HKT 23:47
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  • The Health Secretary, Sophia Chan, said the man might have caught the mutant strain in Dubai, or he might have been infected at the airport, the quarantine hotel or in the community.Photo: RTHK
    The Health Secretary, Sophia Chan, said the man might have caught the mutant strain in Dubai, or he might have been infected at the airport, the quarantine hotel or in the community.Photo: RTHK
The government said on Sunday that it's banning flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines for two weeks from Tuesday, after the SAR found its first case in the community infected with the N501Y mutant coronavirus strain.

The 29-year-old man, who had returned from Dubai tested positive for coronavirus after completing 21 days of quarantine. His case was uncovered when he was staying in the Parkes Building in Jordan.

A government spokesperson said the government is suspending the flights because there had been multiple imported cases carrying the N501Y mutation from India, Pakistan and the Philippines in the past two weeks.

Earlier on Sunday, the Health Secretary, Sophia Chan, said the man might have caught the virus in Dubai, but could have had a long incubation period. Or, she said, he might have been infected at the airport, the hotel, or in the community.

Speaking on a radio show, Chan also said authorities have so far found nothing unusual with the ventilation and pipes at the hotel where the man was quarantined.

The flight ban comes after health officials reported one new local coronavirus case: a 31-year-old who also lives in the Parkes Building in Jordan where the man who returned from Dubai stayed following his mandatory quarantine.

Health officials recorded 29 imported coronavirus infections on Sunday, mostly involving people who had returned to Hong Kong from India.

The new ban means people who've been to India, Pakistan and the Philippines in the past three weeks are also barred from entering Hong Kong.

Macau said earlier that it was lengthening the quarantine period for people who've been to India, Pakistan and the Philippines from midnight on Sunday. Arrivals will now be quarantined for 28 days.

On Sunday, India reported over 275,000 coronavirus cases - a ninth straight day of record numbers.