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Hong Kong bans flights from Philippines, Pakistan and India for two weeks

By Tanya Lara Published Apr 20, 2021 6:13 pm

Starting today, April 20, Hong Kong is banning flights from the three countries for two weeks or until May 4. The decision follows an increase in confirmed cases in Hong Kong through incoming flights.

The Hong Kong government has designated the Philippines, Pakistan and India as “extremely high risk.”

Officials said 223 cases involving the new strain N501Y of the coronavirus—considered a “mutation of major concern”— have been recorded in Hong Kong, all from arriving passengers.

Aerotime reported that on  April 16, however, the first local case of the new strain was recorded in a woman with no recent travel history though contact tracing revealed she may have been infected by a friend who carried the new variant, an engineer who had returned to Hong Kong from Dubai on March 19 and was in quarantine until April 9.

Hong Kong has one of the strictest quarantine regulations with incoming residents and travelers having to undergo quarantine for three weeks in government-dsignatedquarantine hotels.

Passengers from the Philippines India and Pakistan who are already in quarantine will undergo another test on their 26th day in Hong Kong.

It will be recalled that in January, Hong Kong health authorities said that Case 9003, a female who carried the then new UK strain of COVID, was a passenger from Manila.