A staff member helps a citizen receive COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Hong Kong, south China, April 6, 2022. (LO PING FAI / XINHUA)
HONG KONG – The daily COVID-19 caseload in Hong Kong crossed the 10,000 mark on Thursday as the city's health authorities launced a vaccination drive using BioNTech's bivalent jab against the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
In a statement, the Centre for Health Protection said the 10,137 new cases comprised 9,531 local infections and 606 imported cases. The last time the number of COVID infections surpassed 10,000 in the city was on Sept 9, when 10,076 new cases were reported. Hong Kong had 8,810 cases on Wednesday.
With 15 new reported deaths, the city's toll during the current wave of infections rose to 10,549
Of the 606 imported cases, 373 were detected at the Hong Kong International Airport, 190 during days 1 to 3 after arrival, and the remaining 43 from day 4 to day 7, the CHP said.
As of Thursday, the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) had identified 224 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 infections, the CHP added.
Ninety-seven cases of sub-lineage XBB, 18 of XBD, one of BA.2.75.2, four of BF.7 and 113 of BQ.1.1 were also detected among locally transmitted infections.
With 15 new reported deaths, the city's toll during the current wave of infections rose to 10,549.
ALSO READ: HK sees 8,810 new COVID-19 infections, 16 deaths
Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan (third right) visits the Community Vaccination Centre at CUHK Medical Centre to monitor the vaccination drive using BioNTech's bivalent jab on Dec 1, 2022. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
BioNTech bivalent jab
Also on Thursday, the city’s health authorities launched a vaccination campaign using BioNTech's bivalent shot against the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
To date, about 31,200 people have booked for the updated jab, according to Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan, who visited the Community Vaccination Centre at CUHK Medical Centre.
Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan (right) visits the Community Vaccination Centre at CUHK Medical Centre to monitor the vaccination drive using BioNTech's bivalent jab on Dec 1, 2022(PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Timely and suitable vaccine jabs enhance the protection of people aged 50 or above, most notably senior citizens, against COVID-19, she said.
Reminding the public that the novel coronavirus will be active during winter, Yeung stressed that vaccination is important and should not be delayed, particularly for the elderly and other high-risk groups.
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