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This airport worker was infected with an unknown COVID-19 variant

Hong Kong’s 51-day streak without a local COVID case ended because of a COVID-19 variant

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The virus that causes COVID-19.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the virus that causes COVID-19.

NIAID-RML via Associated Press

An airport worker in Hong Kong was recently infected with a coronavirus variant from an unknown source, according to the South China Morning Post.

  • The case was the first local COVID-19 case in Hong Kong in 51 days.
  • The cargo handler reportedly had the L452R mutation, which is commonly seen in major variants such as the delta variant.
  • However, the “airport worker was infected with a coronavirus variant from an unknown source,” per the South China Morning Post.

Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, told the South China Morning Post that they are investigating the source of the infection.

  • “The risk of an outbreak does exist … we have yet to find the source of his infection,” he said.

Per The Economist, Hong Kong has been pushing for a “zero COVID” strategy, in which the location doesn’t have any coronavirus vases. But this could be a potential problem for the region because it would close off people from entering the region, according to The Economist.

Similarly, New Zealand tried to have zero COVID-19 cases. But, as we learned recently, the country will end its long-standing “zero-COVID” policy because there have been too many outbreaks, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “We’re transitioning from our current strategy into a new way of doing things,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “With delta, the return to zero is incredibly difficult, and our restrictions alone are not enough to achieve that quickly. In fact, for this outbreak, it’s clear that long periods of heavy restrictions has not got us to zero cases.”