The Hong Kong government is seeking the help of Thailand’s consulate-general as it moves to contain a possible outbreak among the city’s Thai community, after two more Covid-19 infections – one preliminary – were identified among women from the country.
Health authorities also suspended flights from Nepal Airlines for two weeks after six of Monday’s seven imported cases involved passengers arriving from the country.
In all, the city recorded 11 new coronavirus infections, as health authorities also raced to fully contain a possible outbreak at a bar in Tsim Sha Tsui.
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Among the latest infections were four locally transmitted cases, including two relatives of a previously known case who returned from Nepal.
The two other local cases involved a 38-year-old Thai woman who arrived in mid-March to visit friends in the city, and a 46-year-old clerk who lives in Tsing Yi and works in Kwai Chung. The latter was untraceable.
The clerk is known to have visited a buffet at Gateway Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, but wore a mask while getting food.
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Another Thai woman, 35, who once lived in the same building as the 38-year-old, also tested preliminary positive. She is known to have gone shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok with a compatriot previously confirmed as infected.
So far, a total of four women from Thailand have been confirmed positive or tested preliminary positive since October 1.
“We are worried about a possible spread among the Thai community during their gatherings, so we are liaising with the Thai consulate hoping they can help distribute bottles (for virus tests) to its nationals,” said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP).
Nepal Airlines, meanwhile, has been banned from October 4 to 17 under stricter guidelines authorities imposed last month to curb the number of imported cases.
Separately, officials on Sunday said they had roped in police to track down patrons and staff of the China Secret bar in Tsim Sha Tsui, which a 22-year-old student visited before testing positive.
Chuang said there were about 20 people at the bar, and most had been sent to quarantine. Police are still attempting to track down two people who were there.
While bars have been allowed to reopen after being closed during the city’s third wave of Covid-19, a maximum of two customers are allowed at each table, compared with four for restaurants.
A tourist from Thailand who tested positive on Thursday had also reportedly been at the bar, although health officials had yet to verify the information. She stayed at three different hotels, according to the CHP.
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