Live updates: Coronavirus pandemic and Omicron variant

In this file photo, residents and workers of Discovery Bay subject to compulsory testing form a queue near the Discovery Bay Fire Station on Lantau Island, Hong Kong, on Nov. 2021 (Nora Tam/SCMP/Reuters)

Hong Kong authorities conducted compulsory Covid-19 testing in two neighborhoods on Tuesday after they identified two coronavirus cases, according to a government news release.

Residents at a building in Tuen Mun district and in Discovery Bay on Lantau Island were forced to remain under lockdown overnight as authorities carried out tests, the release said.

A 46-year-old air crew member living in Discovery Bay was confirmed to have the virus and a 44-year-old crew member who lives in Tuen Mun tested preliminary positive on Tuesday, according to the government. Preliminary positive cases require further testing.

Both air crew returned to Hong Kong from the United States on Christmas Day, the release said.

Authorities finished the testing order on Wednesday morning, the release said. No further cases have been found so far, public broadcaster RTHK reported, citing health officials.

Strict measures: Hong Kong, along with mainland China, is one of the last places in Asia to maintain a zero-Covid strategy. 

Its strict anti-epidemic measures include a border largely sealed to non-residents, lengthy quarantine for almost all arrivals, limits on public gatherings and mandatory mask-wearing.

When a suspected cases arises, contacts are traced and often entire buildings are locked down for mandatory testing. In some cases, close contacts are ordered to undergo quarantine at a government facility.  

Hong Kong, which has a population of more than 7 million, has reported 12,605 Covid-19 cases and 213 related deaths, according to the government.

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