An elderly man wearing a face mask does exercise in Ma On Shan in Hong Kong, March 7, 2022. (PHOTO/XINHUA)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong confirmed 30,493 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a day after the launch of an online self-reporting platform that lets residents register their own rapid antigen tests results.
Albert Au Ka-wing, principal medical and health officer of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, said 28,475 infections have been confirmed via nucleic acid test. The cases comprised nine imported infections and 28,466 local ones.
160 COVID-19 patients aged between four and 105 have died in the past 24 hours. Among them, 86 were residing in care homes and 116 had no vaccination records
Meanwhile, there were 14,715 valid positive cases received via the self-reporting platform since its launch at 6 pm on Monday until midnight, Au said in a briefing.
He added that isolation orders have been issued to 2,018 of these cases following confirmation of the necessary documents, including photos of the RAT results.
“We have verified these 2,018 cases as confirmed cases and issued an isolation order to them as well as quarantine orders for their household contacts.”
For the remaining 12,697 cases, the government is still waiting for the patients to submit relevant information for verification.
"Cases that complete the verification process today will be treated as confirmed cases tomorrow," Au said.
Au also said outbreaks were seen in 23 more residential care homes, involving 234 residents and 44 employees.
Since the fifth wave of the epidemic that began on Dec 31, a total of around 21,000 residents at residential care homes for the elderly and the disabled have been infected with COVID-19.
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Sara Ho Yuen-ha, Hospital Authority chief manager (patient safety and risk management), said at the same briefing that 160 COVID-19 patients aged between four and 105 have died in the past 24 hours.
Among them, 86 were residing in care homes and 116 had no vaccination records.
There were also 127 fatalities that have not been reported earlier due to lagging in statistics, Ho said.
Since the fifth wave of the epidemic, there have been a total of 2,365 COVID-19 deaths, with an overall mortality rate of 0.46 percent.
Residents get a haircut in Hong Kong before hair salons are shuttered under the government's tightened virus curbs on Feb 9, 2022. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
Hair salons to reopen
Also on Tuesday, the government announced that barber shops and hair salons will be allowed to reopen on March 10 with the full implementation of the Vaccine Pass. That means anyone who enters these shops must have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Customers must use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app before entering the shop while both patrons and staff must wear a mask.
Except for clubhouses, hotels or guesthouses and hair salons, scheduled premises regulated under the Prevention & Control of Disease (Requirements & Directions) (Business & Premises) Regulation must continue to suspend operations in view of the epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the government said.
Most of the tightened social distancing measures will also be maintained by two weeks until March 23.
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