This photo taken on July 24, 2022 shows beachgoers at Clear Water Bay during a heatwave in Hong Kong. (YAN ZHAO / AFP)
HONG KONG - The Hospital Authority will require more public hospital staff members to take two nucleic acid tests every week for COVID-19 as the city recorded 4,631 new cases on Sunday.
Gladys Kwan, Chief Manager (Clinical Effectiveness and Technology Management) of the Hospital Authority, said in a news briefing that, starting next week, staff members in accident and emergency departments and those involved in outreach services to residential care homes will have to take two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nucleic acid tests.
Gladys Kwan, Chief Manager (Clinical Effectiveness and Technology Management) of the Hospital Authority, said in a news briefing that, starting next week, staff members in accident and emergency departments and those involved in outreach services to residential care homes will have to take two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nucleic acid tests
Public hospital staff members are already required to take a rapid antigen test daily to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“We will review its effectiveness and see where we can further expand,” Kwan said.
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The HA earlier required hospital staff members taking care of cancer patients and those who require dialysis to take the two extra PCR tests. Kwan said this led to the detection of at least eight cases.
Kwan also clarified that the HA allows compassionate visits for those with loved ones who are in critical condition in public hospitals.
“We have always had this in public hospitals in light of COVID,” Kwan said, adding that those who want to visit critical patients should present a valid negative PCR test result within 48 hours or a negative RAT test result within 24 hours.
For those who submit a negative RAT test result, Kwan said they should give a negative PCR result within two days after their visit.
Kwan said 1,494 patients were being treated in public hospitals as of Sunday, including 181 new cases. Twenty-one are in critical condition, including 12 in intensive care, and 27 in serious condition.
An 80-year-old male patient passed away, bringing the city’s toll after the fifth wave to 9,260. The patient also had underlying illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and a fatty liver, Kwan added.
Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said in the same briefing that the new cases comprised 179 imported infections and 4,455 local cases.
She said the imported cases included 34 from the the United Kingdom, 22 from India, 19 from Thailand, 14 from the United States, and 12 from Singapore.
Chuang added that one residential care home also reported one new infection.
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