7th 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 11,278 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 3,197 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (1,584 confirmed cases, 1 ,380 asymptomatic cases and 233 cases with pending status) and 8,081 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.
Separately, 703 additional imported cases were reported, including 640 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (130 confirmed cases, 483 asymptomatic cases and 27 cases with pending status) and 63 cases that tested positive by RATs. Among the additional imported cases, 447 of them involved samples at the airport, 204 of them involved samples during Day 1 to Day 3, and the remaining 52 involved samples during Day 4 to Day 7.
Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1,072,500 and 1,116,917 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 7, the DH’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) had identified 226 cases of sub-lineage XBB, six of XBD, eight of BA.2.75.2, seven of BA.4.6, 13 of BF.7 and 37 of BQ.1.1 among imported cases in Hong Kong, while 116 cases of sub-lineage XBB, 18 of XBD, one of BA.2.75.2, four of BF.7 and 126 of BQ.1.1 have also been detected among local cases.
Among the specimens received by the DH’s PHLSB during 28th November to 4th December for verification testing of local cases, 0 per cent and about 66.80 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 today, a total of 10,651 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since 31st December, 2021) were recorded, with 10,553 and 94 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 10,864 death cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Another 22 patients passed away in public hospitals today.
Furthermore, among the earlier cases by nucleic acid tests reported, there were cases (including pending cases) changed to confirmed, asymptomatic or re-positive cases. As at yesterday, the total number of confirmed cases was 466,550, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since 1st January were 354,813, 31 and 247,269 respectively.
The spokesman for the CHP said that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe cases and deaths from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They can provide effective protection to those vaccinated in preventing serious complications and even death after infection. People who have yet to receive vaccination, especially senior citizens, chronic patients, children and other immunocompromised persons who face a higher chance of death after COVID-19 infection, should get vaccinated as early as possible for self-protection and to reduce the risk of falling seriously ill and death should they get infected.