Hong Kong reports two suspected cases of community spread of omicron

Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong authorities are reporting the first two cases of community transmission of omicron today, according to sources cited by the South China Morning Post.

The timeline from the cases is from a Cathay Pacific aircrew — a frequent source of omicron imports to Hong Kong. The virus spread to a family member but he/she also dined at a restaurant in a shopping centre where another diner was infected. The person sat at a separate table “not far away, but not next to each other”, according to the report.

Because of the frequent omicron pings via aircrews, Hong Kong aircrew are being placed under increasingly onerous restructions, including three-day hotel quarantines for air-cargo crews. Non-mainland China flights to and from Hong Kong must also be operated by
“closed-loop” aircrew, who will be required to spend as many
as two weeks in quarantine every time they land in Hong Kong.

The measures are prompting an exodus of pilots and crew, who say they’re in permanent quarantine. Air crew are also reportedly flouting the rules and exposed more people in the city to covid.

As omicron spreads and grows, China faces an impossible task of keeping it out. I believe this is the chief risk to the global economy and supply chains early in 2022.


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