Paul Chan, financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, delivers the 2022-23 budget speech in Hong Kong, south China, Feb 23, 2022. (XINHUA)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan, who is visiting Saudi Arabia, tested positive for COVID-19 via a rapid antigen test, the government announced on Thursday.

HK's financial chief Paul Chan was scheduled to speak at the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, slated for Nov 1 to 3 in Hong Kong

Chan had been scheduled to complete his visit to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and depart for Hong Kong on Thursday. Following his positive test for the coronavirus, he has canceled the remaining parts of his visit and will stay in Riyadh for a short while.

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He will seek to comply with relevant health requirements and return to Hong Kong as soon as possible, the government said in a statement, adding that Chan’s RAT results had been negative previously.

Chan had been scheduled to speak at the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, slated for Nov 1 to 3 in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, of the newly confirmed 6,062 daily COVID-19 cases, 5,687 were locally transmitted – a jump of more than 10 percent from Wednesday’s figure – and 375 imported cases, according to the Centre and Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health.

Among the imported cases, 219 involved samples collected at the Hong Kong International Airport, 111 during days 1 to 3 and the remaining 45 between days 4 and 7, the CHP added.

Also, the health authorities have identified 182 cases of sub-lineage XBB, six of XBD, six of BA.2.75.2, five of BA.4.6, 11 of BF.7 and 16 of BQ.1.1 among Thursday’s imported cases.
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Six cases of sub-lineage XBD, one of BA.2.75.2 and four of BQ.1.1 have also been detected among the locally acquired cases.

The latest eight deaths have pushed the city’s death toll to 10,145 during this latest wave of the pandemic and 10,358 since the pandemic began.

The health authorities recorded 5,403 new cases on Wednesday and 5,221 the day before.