Domestic worker in Tung Chung found with mutant virus variant

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A map of the Carribean Coast in Tung Chung. (Google Earth Studio/Maxar Technologies)

Hundreds of occupants of a residential building in Tung Chung will be sent to quarantine after a domestic worker from one of the units was found with a highly contagious coronavirus variant on Thursday night.

The Centre for Health Protection said the mutant virus variant was found in a domestic worker from the Philippines working in a unit in Tower 11 of Carmel Cove, Caribbean Coast in Tung Chung. The source of her infection is unknown.

“As N501Y mutant strain is with high transmissibility, the CHP decided to carry out prudent measures on infection control and prevention to arrange compulsory quarantine for asymptomatic residents of all units on all floors of the building concerned, so as to stop the potential risk of spread of N501Y mutant strain,” the CHP said in a statement.

A 10-month-old baby girl from the same unit, the daughter of the worker’s employers, was also found infected with Covid-19. Her parents, meanwhile, tested negative for the virus as of yesterday evening.

This is the second local Covid-19 case carrying a mutant virus variant involving a domestic worker.

The CHP urged employers to remind domestic workers to avoid gatherings, food sharing, and other social activities.

“If they have to attend gatherings, they should wear a mask at all times, wash their hands frequently and maintain social distancing so as to safeguard their personal health,” the CHP said.

Since the infected domestic worker went to St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Tsing Yi on Apr. 11 and 18, all people who went there on those days will also have to get tested by May 1.

 This story has been updated to include the test results of the infant’s parents and the nationality of the domestic worker.

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