Double-vaxxed traveller catches Omicron Covid inside Hong Kong quarantine hotel

Double-vaxxed traveller catches Omicron Covid inside Hong Kong quarantine hotel
Double-vaxxed traveller catches Omicron Covid inside Hong Kong quarantine hotel

A person has caught Omicron Covid inside a quarantine hotel in Hong Kong from a guest across the hall despite both never leaving their rooms, it has been revealed.

Both patients were double-vaccinated and both had tested negative on a PCR before arriving in Hong Kong last month, with one flying in from Canada and the second flying in from South Africa.

Scientists believe the traveller from South Africa was infected before flying and then passed the infection to the traveller from Canada when opening the door of their room to collect food.

The findings raise further fears about just how infectious the Omicron strain of Covid is, and how fast it could spread if even some of the strictest border restrictions on the planet failed to contain it.

A traveller to Hong Kong (airport, pictured) was infected with Omicron Covid inside a quarantine hotel despite being double vaccinated and never leaving their room

A traveller to Hong Kong (airport, pictured) was infected with Omicron Covid inside a quarantine hotel despite being double vaccinated and never leaving their room

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong revealed the infection on Friday, in a research paper that was published online.

In it, they write that one traveller - Patient A - had arrived from South Africa on November 10 having tested negative for Covid on a PCR 72 hours beforehand.

Patient A had been double-vaccinated with Pfizer on June 4, and was placed in a quarantine hotel in line with Hong Kong's strict border laws which mean most air arrivals from outside China have to quarantine for at least 14 days.

Patient B had arrived from Canada the previous day, November 10, having also tested negative on a PCR in the 72 hours beforehand.

They were also double vaccianted with Pfizer, and got their second dose on May 25 - around six months before they arrived in Hong Kong.

Patient B was taken to the same quarantine hotel as Patient A, and confined to a room directly across the corridor.

Patient A then tested positive for Covid without displaying any symptoms on November 13. He was taken to an isolation unit in hospital the following day.

Four days later, on November 17, Patient B developed mild Covid symptoms and tested positive on a PCR on November 18. He was also taken to hospital and isolated.

Genetic sequencing subsequently confirmed that the two travellers were carrying viruses that were almost genetically identical.

Hong Kong has only been reporting a handful of Covid cases per day in recent months, but has seen a spike since Omicron arrived in recent days

Hong Kong has only been reporting a handful of Covid cases per day in recent months, but has seen a spike since Omicron arrived in recent

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