People walk past a government's contact tracing QR code for the "LeaveHomeSafe" COVID-19 mobile app at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, July 12, 2022. (KIN CHEUNG / AP)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong recorded 4,045 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and three more elderly deaths, bringing the city’s toll during the fifth wave to 9,337.
The new infections included 262 imported cases and 3,783 local infections, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said at a news briefing.
The new infections included 262 imported cases and 3,83 local infections, said Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection
Tuesday’s figure is almost the same as the 4,040 cases reported on Monday.
“There are many chains of transmission in the community. Omicron is highly transmissible,” Chuang said.
She said infections involving the Omicron subvariants BA.4 or BA.5 comprised 12 percent of the new infections.
Of the 262 imported cases, 140 were detected during airport screening, 94 at quarantine hotels, and 28 after quarantine, Chuang said.
Thirty-eight came from the United Kingdom, 35 from India, 27 from the United States, 23 from the Philippines, 15 from France, 13 from Singapore, and 12 from Thailand. The rest were from 40 other countries.
Chuang said 280 schools reported 330 students and 71 teaching staff members being infected. Eight schools in Sham Shui Po, Wong Tai Sin, Tung Chung, Yuen Long, Kowloon Tong, Kwun Tong, Tai Po, and Sha Tin had to suspend some in-person classes for one week after cases were detected, but there were no major outbreaks.
She added that three residential care homes for the elderly and persons with disabilities had new infections.
Gladys Kwan, Chief Manager (Clinical Effectiveness and Technology management) of the Hospital Authority, said the three reported deaths involved two men and a woman aged 87 to 93 years old.
They had underlying illnesses like hypertension and diabetes and two of did not get a single vaccine jab against the coronavirus, Kwan said.
She added that 1,546 COVID patients were being treated in public hospitals, including 195 new patients. Twenty-seven were in critical condition, including eight receiving intensive care, while 21 were in serious condition.
Virus curbs extended to Aug 24
In a separate statement, the government announced that the existing social distancing measures will be extended until Aug 24.
It noted that the number of daily new cases in Hong Kong remains high at four-digit figures, with the overall number of hospitalised patients consistently exceeding 1,000 without signs of a steady downward trend.
All catering premises and scheduled premises are allowed to continue operating subject to strict compliance with the requirements including the use of the Vaccine Pass and LeaveHomeSafe app.
Other requirements, such as mask-wearing for citizens in transport carriers and specified public places, as well as the prohibition of group gatherings in public places, also remain in force.
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