Dash to contain spread after boy, 4, infected

Top News | Wallis Wang 17 May 2021

Authorities are urgently tracing contacts and arranging special children's quarantine after the infection of a four-year-old boy from an unknown source, says Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee.

Four new Covid-19 cases were reported yesterday, including three imported cases and a four-month-old baby linked to the mutant strain cluster.

The boy from class K1B of the HKVNS Alumni Association Kindergarten in Ho Man Tin was among Saturday's cases and the first unknown-source infection in a week. About 20 of his classmates and teachers were sent to a quarantine hotel.

On a radio program, Chan said she was worried about silent transmission, adding the government will conduct more rounds of contact tracing.

"We want to find out how the boy was infected as soon as possible," Chan said.

"All buildings the boy had gone to, as well as his address, were subjected to compulsory tests immediately. The close contacts of the boy were also sent to the quarantine center."

The boy has stayed at Yee King Building in Ho Man Tin and Block 13 of Pak Tin Estate in Shek Kip Mei.

Residents of the two buildings were asked to take tests before tomorrow.

Chan said many close contacts of the boy are children who need to be accompanied by their families for 14 days in the quarantine hotel in Kowloon. The boy was sent to hospital and was in a stable condition.

"We have made special arrangements with the Social Welfare Department and provided more toys, children's books and other things they may need, aiming to fulfill their needs during quarantine," Chan said.

By Saturday, 1,154,000 people, or about 15 percent of the city's population, had received a vaccine.

Chan said the government is in discussion with six major welfare groups to arrange their staff to get vaccinated at workplaces.

The six welfare groups are Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Po Leung Kuk, Yan Chai Hospital, Lok Sin Tong, Pok Oi Hospital and Yan Oi Tong.

Chan said the government is looking for a new supplier for meals at Penny's Bay quarantine center after the food-poisoning incidents last week.

The four cases yesterday were one local and three imported - from Russia, India and Indonesia.

Those took Hong Kong's overall tally to 11,825 cases, including 210 deaths.

The four-month-old baby boy is related to a Filipino nurse, who was infected with a Covid-19 variant earlier this month.

The baby's mother is the girlfriend of the nurse's elder brother who both have been infected.

The nurse contracted the virus from her Indian boyfriend - the city's first case bringing the mutant variant first detected in South Africa to the community while in quarantine after arriving from Dubai. A total of 11 infections have been confirmed in the cluster.

wallis.wang@singtaonewscorp.com



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