Hong Kong teen tests preliminary positive for coronavirus variant

  • The 17-year-old, who lives in Tin Shui Wai, had no travel history and was admitted to hospital in Tuen Mun
  • If her positive Covid-19 result is confirmed, it will end the city’s 42-day streak of no local untraceable infections

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The teen was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital after the preliminary positive test result. Photo: SCMP/Sam Tsang

A 17-year-old school student with no travel history has tested preliminary-positive for a Covid-19 variant, with the case potentially ending Hong Kong’s 42-day streak of no local untraceable infections.

It was unclear on Friday if the girl, who lives in Tin Shui Wai, had come into contact with others who had a travel history, a medical source said, adding that an investigation was under way.

The student developed a runny nose and a fever on Wednesday. She was tested on Thursday and returned a positive result for the N501Y mutation of the virus, which is linked to more infectious variants.

The patient was sent to Tuen Mun Hospital on the same day.

Health officials confirmed one imported infection from Austria on Friday, bringing the city’s tally to 11,850 cases, with 210 related deaths. The city had been edging closer to its target of zero infections and had recorded no untraceable local cases for 42 days as of Friday.

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In light of the 17-year-old girl’s case, Queen Elizabeth School Old Students’ Association Tong Kwok Wah Secondary School said it would suspend classes on campus for 21 days from Friday.

The teen last attended school in Tin Shui Wai on Wednesday. Anyone who stayed on campus for more than two hours from May 12 to Wednesday is also required to undergo a test.