It was revealed that Omicron Covid has been caught in a Hong Kong quarantine hotel by a person who was a guest. The two of them never left their rooms.

The patients had been double-vaccinated. They both tested negative for PCR prior to arriving in Hong Kong.

Scientists think that the South African traveller was infected by the virus before he flew and passed it to Canada, when he opened the door to his room for food.

These findings are further evidence of how contagious the Omicron Covid strain is and the speed at which it can spread, even if all the world’s strictest borders fail to stop 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

One traveller from Hong Kong was infected by Omicron Covid while staying at a quarantine hotel. They had been double-vaccinated, but never left their rooms.

In a paper published online, researchers from University of Hong Kong discovered the infected virus on Friday.

They write in it that patient A arrived from South Africa on the 10th of November after having failed a 72-hour-old PCR test for Covid.

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 arrived in Canada on November 10th, having tested negative for PCR within 72 hours.

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 transported to the same quarantine hospital as Patient A. He was then placed in an adjacent room.

Patient A tested positive for Covid on November 13 without showing any symptoms. His condition was stabilized and he was transferred to hospital’s isolation unit.

On November 17, Patient A developed mild Covid symptoms. He was tested positive for PCR the following day. He was taken to the hospital, and left alone.

The two travelers were infected with viruses almost identical to those found by genetic sequencing.

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 only reports a small number of Covid cases every day over the past few months. But, Omicron recently arrived and has noticed a rise in Covid cases in Hong Kong.

Further sequencing confirmed that Patient A had Omicron virus. This closely matches the early South African cases.

Therefore, researchers believe that Patient A contracted the virus from South Africa and took it to Hong Kong where it was then transmitted to Patient B.

According to scientists who looked at CCTV footage from the hotel, no patient ever left his room and nothing was moved between rooms.

Only one time the doors were opened in either of the rooms was when food was being collected.

The report concluded that “Airborne transmission over the corridor” is the most likely mode of transmission.

Scientists believe that the Covid test was administered on alternate days by the scientists because they were performed at the same time as the travelers.

It is highly unlikely that the two were infected during testing.

The paper concluded that Omicron variant transmission occurred between fully vaccinated people in the quarantine corridor. It raised concerns that Omicron could be more transmissible than among the vaccinated.

“Further… investigations into this newly discovered [variant] are urgently required. In the meantime, additional data may be available and increased precautions might be required.

Omicron was discovered for the first times in November by scientists from South Africa. The variant had been identified in a Botswana specimen collected on November 9th.

Scientists are urging people to get vaccianted against Covid and have their booster shots in the hopes it will help slow the spread of Omicron

Scientists urge people to have booster shots and get their vaccianted against Covid in order to slow down the spread Omicron.

The most-mutated Covid variant has yet been discovered. It contains several mutations that can make the virus even more contagious among those already vaccinated.

Since then, evidence has been collected that seems to confirm this suspicion. South Africa’s cases rose by 400% in one week.

The new variant is not yet fully understood, including its potential impact on the severity and duration of the illness.

The data suggests most of the infections are mild and there have been no deaths. But, health professionals caution that the impact of this variant on death rates and hospitalizations may not be evident for weeks. 

WHO again calls on countries to give priority to vaccinating unprotected populations.

Researchers from the European Centre for Disease Control cautioned that although travel restrictions might slow Omicron’s initial spread, they will not stop it. This is likely to become redundant in the next few weeks.

They advocate for a wider coverage of vaccinations and the use of mask-wearing, as well as social distancing, hand washing, and social distancing to combat Delta.