5th December 2022 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am today, the CHP was investigating 8,843 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 1,977 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (985 confirmed cases, 827 asymptomatic cases and 165 cases with pending status) and 6,866 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.
Separately, 665 additional imported cases were reported, comprising 579 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (104 confirmed cases, 458 asymptomatic cases and 17 cases with pending status) and 86 cases that tested positive by RATs. Among the additional imported cases, 457 of them involved samples at the airport, 159 involved samples during Day 1 to Day 3, and the remaining 49 involved samples during Day 4 to Day 7.
Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1,065,656 and 1,101,828 cases that have tested positive by nucleic acid tests and RATs respectively for the SARS-CoV-2 virus so far.
The CHP is continuing with epidemiological investigations of the cases.
The CHP has been closely monitoring the situation of positive cases involving mutant strains by genetic analysis. As of 0.00am, December 5, the DH’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) had identified 225 cases of sub-lineage XBB, six of XBD, eight of BA.2.75.2, seven of BA.4.6, 13 of BF.7 and 36 of BQ.1.1 among imported cases in Hong Kong, while 104 cases of sub-lineage XBB, 18 of XBD, one of BA.2.75.2, four of BF.7 and 121 of BQ.1.1 have also been detected among local cases.
Among the specimens received by the DH’s PHLSB during 26th November to 2nd December for verification testing of local cases, 0 per cent and about 70.16 per cent of them (seven-day moving average) are related to the sub-lineages BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 (including suspected cases) of the Omicron mutant strain respectively.
In addition, as of 0.00am, 5th December, a total of 10 613 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since 31st December, 2021) were recorded, with 10,517 and 92 deaths reported from the Hospital Authority and public mortuaries respectively as well as four deaths reported from private hospitals. Hong Kong has so far recorded a total of 10,826 death cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Furthermore, among the earlier cases by nucleic acid tests reported, there were cases (including pending cases) that were changed to confirmed, asymptomatic or re-positive cases. As of yesterday, the total number of confirmed cases was 464,010, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since 1st January were 351,986, 31 and 247,073 respectively.
As at 0.00am today, a total of 2,993 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 are currently hospitalised for treatment, including 411 new patients. Currently, there are 318 patients requiring oxygen therapy and 17 patients requiring ventilator support. Among the patients staying in isolation facilities, 704 patients are in isolation wards, 220 patients are in second-tier isolation wards and 580 patients are in the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre, of which 284 in total are new patients. There are 13 newly reported critical patients and 22 newly reported serious patients. There are a total of 70 patients in critical condition and 82 in serious condition, of which 21 critical patients are receiving intensive care. Moreover, there are 179 patients who have recovered, including 145 patients who have been discharged. In addition, 20 patients who passed away in public hospitals were reported.
In the past week, there were 358 COVID-19 patients who reside in residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) admitted to hospitals. The number is continuously higher than the 341 and 299 RCHE COVID-19 patients admitted in the fourth and the third week of November respectively. The Hospital Authority (HA) is very concerned and will closely monitor the situation. The HA will keep close communication with relevant government departments and RCHEs so as to enhance medical support to RCHEs through the outreach teams.