Hong Kong reported its first local case of coronavirus in 58 days and with this, the city state’s phase of Covid-free days for about two months came to an end. The patient, a 43-year-old man who lives in the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood, has, so far, shown no symptoms and has no recent travel history, but Covid-19 antibodies were found in his blood, government officials said, adding he has not been vaccinated.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP), which is Hong Kong’s agency responsible for disease prevention and control, said the man had tested negative for the viral disease under the government’s regular testing requirement since May this year, according to a report by the Straits Times on Thursday.
However, after being hospitalised on Tuesday, the man tested positive for antibodies against Covid-19 and the epidemiological, clinical and laboratory findings are compatible with a re-positive case previously undiagnosed, the CHP said in a statement.
The patient’s colleagues, neighbours and those who visited the same places that he did during the incubation period would now have to get themselves tested for the virus, according to Bloomberg.
The local case came as a setback for Hong Kong which was planning to allow its vaccinated residents and tourists from all but 10 countries to enter the city from August 9.
Vaccinated tourists, including those from Canada and the United States, will be allowed to enter Hong Kong for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic last year. And, fully inoculated residents from countries, like India and the United Kingdom, that were banned earlier can come back home.
As of Wednesday, Hong Kong has administered vaccines to 2.6 million of its citizens and is urging the remaining ones to receive the jab at the earliest. Bloomberg also reported that schools in the city must have 70 per cent students in a certain grade inoculated before resuming in-person teaching from September. The total Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong currently stand at 12,003 which include 212 deaths, 11,721 recoveries and 70 active cases.