Covid-19 lockdowns in Wan Chai and Taikoo Shing on Tuesday yielded no positive cases after close to 500 residents were tested for the virus over five imported cases. The lockdowns were, in part, triggered by a Saudi Arabian official and his family who allegedly broke self-isolation rules after arrival.

Residents in Taikoo Shing’s Tang Kung Mansion received mandatory Covid-19 tests during an area lockdown on July 20, 2020. Photo: GovHK.

Leon Court in Wan Chai, as well as Taikoo Shing’s Tang Kwan Mansion and Hamilton Hill International Kindergarten were placed under community lockdown for mandatory virus tests from Tuesday evening until early morning on Wednesday.

Vaccinated and infected

The lockdowns were imposed after two children aged 13 and 11 — who were reportedly children of the Saudi official — tested positive with a Covid-19 variant on Wednesday after arrival.

Meanwhile, a BioNTech-vaccinated man tested positive with the coronavirus L452R variant last Sunday, after returning from France.

He had stayed in Hong Kong for a 21-day incubation period before travelling overseas on July 2.

Three other positive cases recorded on Wednesday entered the city from Bangladesh, Cambodia and the United Arab Emirates.

Photo: GovHK.

Under Hong Kong Covid-19 rules, government representatives on official duty from Group C medium-risk countries prior to arriving in Hong Kong — with the exception of consul generals or officials at similar or higher ranks — are required to self-isolate for 21 days at locations designated by their organisations.

The city’s health authorities revealed a list of venues the Saudi family visited immediately after arrival, which included the Peak, City Gate mall in Tung Chung and the Ngong Ping 360 cable car station, in an apparent violation of the exemption rules.

The diplomatic family was placed at a quarantine centre on Wednesday after the government revoked their quarantine exemptions, SCMP reported, citing government sources.

HKFP has reached out to Saudi Arabia’s consulate for comment.

Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.