Hong Kong quarantines building tenants after mutant strain of Covid-19 virus found

The preliminary test result from the confirmed case involved the N501Y mutant strain of the coronavirus.
The preliminary test result from the confirmed case involved the N501Y mutant strain of the coronavirus.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Hong Kong health officials quarantined more than 80 residents of a building in a densely populated neighbourhood after a Covid-19 case detected there initially tested positive for a highly transmissible mutant strain.

Health authorities locked down the Parkes Building in the Jordan area of the Kowloon district to conduct mandatory testing, according to a government statement late on Friday (April 16).

The preliminary test result from the confirmed case involved the N501Y mutant strain of the coronavirus, which is highly transmissible, the Department of Health said in a statement. The building is "relatively old" and houses some sub-divided units, it said.

Asymptomatic residents in the 48 units on all 11 floors were transferred to quarantine centres, while those with symptoms were hospitalised, according to the statement.

Authorities also ordered compulsory testing for anyone who had visited the building for more than two hours in the eight days since April 9.

Hong Kong has reported a total of 11,635 Covid-19 cases and 209 deaths.

The city has administered more than one million doses of vaccine.