Indonesian airline’s flights banned as 5 FDWs test positive for Covid-19

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Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection announced that Garuda Indonesia's flights from Jakarta will be barred from landing in Hong Kong for two weeks starting tomorrow. (SCREENSHOT: Information Services Department/isd.gov.hk)

Garuda Indonesia passenger flights will be banned from landing in Hong Kong for two weeks after three domestic workers onboard its May 30 flight to the city tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival.

The Centre for Health Protection reported seven confirmed Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, of which six are imported infections.

Five of these infections came from Indonesia, including four passengers of Garuda Indonesia flight GA876.

CHP’s communicable disease branch head Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan added that three of the four Indonesian workers tested positive for a coronavirus variant containing the N501Y mutated gene. The test results for the other FDW on the same flight is still pending.

Because of this, the Indonesian airline’s plane trips from Jakarta will not be allowed to land in Hong Kong from June 2 to 15.

Another Indonesian worker who arrived on May 28 via Cathay Pacific flight CX2780 was found with a variant containing an L452R mutation.

A 55-year-old woman who flew in from the United Arab Emirates on May 27 was found with the same variant while she was under hotel quarantine in Central.

Hong Kong also saw its first local untraceable Covid-19 infection in the past 38 days, after the preliminary infection of a 35-year-old police constable who worked in Wan Chai was confirmed.

But Chuang said all his Covid-19 tests upon admission at the hospital tested negative despite having a high viral load. She said there was no evidence of sample contamination or any other indicators that could point to the man’s infection being a false positive.

His two children have tested negative for the virus, but their schools were closed for disinfection pending their complete test results.

The police officer also accompanied an arrested person on May 21 to Chai Wan and brought suspected illegal immigrants to the Lai Chi Kok Detention Centre on May 24. His close contacts will be sent to quarantine, Chuang added.

Hong Kong has seen 11,849 coronavirus infections to date.

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