Coronavirus: Hong Kong’s first patient found locally with mutated strain granted bail while awaiting trial for allegedly lying to health officials

·2-min read

Hong Kong’s first Covid-19 patient found locally with a mutated coronavirus strain, arrested earlier this month for allegedly lying to health officials about his whereabouts, has been granted temporary release ahead of a court hearing at the end of the month.

Syed Mohamed Rizvi returned to Kowloon City Court on Tuesday for a bail review after failing to secure release in his first court appearance on May 10.

He was released on HK$30,000 (US$3,862) bail and HK$10,000 surety on the condition he stay in Hong Kong, surrender all travel documents and report to police three times a week.

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First two locally discovered variant patients charged for misleading officials

The 30-year-old engineer, who flew in from Dubai on March 19, was charged on May 10 with providing false information to a health official. The prosecution previously said they were considering pressing an additional count of providing false information to an immigration officer.

After completing his compulsory hotel quarantine on April 8, Rizvi tested positive in mid-April for the B.1.351 variant of the coronavirus, which was first discovered in South Africa and is thought to be about 50 per cent more infectious than other variants in circulation in the city.

Prosecutors eye second charge for patient accused of lying to officer

Rizvi was accused of lying to a health official on April 16 by only mentioning he had visited Tsim Sha Tsui and Jordan from April 10 to 11 and stating he had not attended any gatherings.

His 31-year-old friend, Victoria Marie Alcaide Guadiz, was released on a HK$2,000 bond on Friday after she was charged with failing to provide details to health authorities. She also tested positive for the mutated strain of the virus.

The defendants, who have both recovered, will return to Kowloon City Court on May 31.

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