United Kingdom could be source of infection for freight worker: PolyU researcher

Local | 11 Oct 2021 12:57 pm

An airport freight worker could have been infected by someone from United Kingdom, said Gilman Siu Kit-hang, assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

A 48-year-old male freight worker who worked night shifts was confirmed with Delta variant last Friday. His home address, Golden Lion Garden phase 1 in Tai Wai, was subject to compulsory testing.

On a radio program on Monday, Siu said that the genetic sequencing of the virus detected from the man is similar to a patient's late September, who tested positive in the UK.

He added that the patient's initial viral load was low, but increased after he was admitted to the hospital – an indication that he had just been infected. 

As the patient worked at the cargo terminal, it was suspected that he may have been infected by the cargo aircraft personnel who left the same day. 

"Although the patient is working with protective clothing, he may not be under sufficient protection in non-working hours. It was possible that he was infected by people carrying the virus who passed by," Siu said.

He pointed out that this reflected there are loopholes in the airport restricted area.

It is still too early to assess the risk of community transmissions, Siu said,

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