Cruise ship with 2,500 people returns to Hong Kong for coronavirus tests

Beijing, Jan 5 (EFE).- A cruise ship with 2,500 passengers returned to Hong Kong Wednesday for Covid-19 tests after authorities identified nine of them as suspected close contacts of a female coronavirus positive patient.

The official Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) said the Spectrum of the Seas” vessel left the port on Sunday.

It was due to return on Thursday, but the authorities ordered it to return immediately.

The RTHK said the nine close contacts tested preliminary negative and would be sent to Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre.

The government was now arranging to test all passengers and staff when the ship arrived at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.

One of the nine passengers is the boss of a 43-year-old domestic helper, who has tested preliminary positive.

The woman was also in contact with a relative of a Cathay Pacific flight attendant who tested positive on Sunday after returning from the United States.

It comes amid growing concern over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in Hong Kong, where the strain appeared more than a month ago.

Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-Yung said Wednesday that Hong Kong could face a fifth wave of Covid-19.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Tuesday urged people not to lower their guard and ruled out relaxing preventive measures against the virus.

The Hong Kong government had earlier announced to lift on Jan.6 the social distancing measures, which include the closing of restaurants at night and gyms.

The former British colony has registered more than 12,690 Covid-19 infections, including 213 fatalities since the pandemic began.

The city has 249 active cases, authorities said. EFE


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