Hong Kong reports 237 new COVID-19 cases, 212 in 212 local infections

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Hong Kong reports 237 new COVID-19 cases, 212 in 212 local infections

A bride and groom in protective face masks walk on the waterfront for a photo shoot in Hong Kong on May 21, 2022. KIN CHEUNG AP HONG KONG KONG KONG - Hong Kong reported 237 new COVID 19 cases on Sunday as a family of three who ate at a fast food outlet in Taikoo Shing tested positive for the disease.

Albert Au, the principal medical and health officer of the Communicable Disease Branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said the new cases included 212 local infections and 25 imported cases.

He said 94 were confirmed through nucleic acid testing and 143 by rapid antigen testing.

Au said the imported cases included eight from the United States, four from Singapore, three from India, two from Canada and one from Argentina, New Zealand, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Bangladesh.

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He said that a 46-year-old man from Singapore also tested positive on the 12th day after his arrival in Hong Kong. He lives in Bel Air and works in Exchange Square's Tower 2 He said the patient's viral load was low and his infection might be a local case.

Au said a family of three, a 41 year-old mother and her two sons, aged 8 and 9 years old, tested positive after eating at a McDonald's branch in Cityplaza, Taikoo Shing before lunchtime on May 15.

A 64 year-old woman who later tested positive and was linked to the Lan Kwai Fong hotel cluster was also at the restaurant and had an overlap of 10 minutes.

Au said that a genome sequencing analysis was being conducted to determine if the woman had the Omicron BA. The family's infection was caused by 1 subvariant.

The family was sitting close to the counter. The lady was seated further away, Au said.

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He said the mother and her two sons tested positive on May 18. Before that, the two boys were able to go to school because their rapid antigen tests were still negative.

Au said three more cases were traced to the cluster linked to the Benchmark school, which now has 24 cases. He said that 10 cases were found after health authorities conducted testing at residential care homes starting on Friday.

Lau Ka-hin, chief manager of quality and standards at the Hospital Authority, said 512 patients were being treated in public hospitals, North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Center, and the COVID 19 community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo.

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