Qatar Airways flights from Doha barred as 7 new Covid-19 cases logged

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Qatar Airways flights are barred from landing in Hong Kong for two weeks after four passengers on the carrier's July 18 flight tested positive for Covid-19. (PHOTO: Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways passenger flights departing Doha will be barred from landing in Hong Kong for two weeks after four passengers onboard the carrier’s flight to the city tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Centre for Health Protection said the flights operated by the airline will be banned from July 20 to Aug. 2.

The four confirmed Covid-19 cases boarded the QR818 flight on July 18. They are among the seven new Covid-19 cases the CHP confirmed on Tuesday.

The cases were imported from the United States, Japan, France, Iran, and Bangladesh.

Among those cases is a 27-year-old patient who had stayed at CentrePoint in Central from June 27 before leaving Hong Kong on July 4. His infection prompted a lockdown testing order in the building, but no related infections were found.

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Of the cases confirmed today, all but one arrival from Bangladesh carried a coronavirus variant containing the L452R mutation—which is associated with several strains including the highly contagious Delta variant.

A staffer from the Health Department told Hong Kong News they all tested negative for N501Y or E484K strains.

Three of the confirmed cases were found to have vaccination histories in Hong Kong, the staffer added. The two cases from the United States and a case from France completed their doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech.

Fewer than five people tested preliminarily positive for the virus.