People relax at a promenade next to Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on April 25, 2022. (DALE DE LA REY / AFP)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported 283 new COVID-19 cases on Monday as government officials prepared for the gradual resumption of in-person classes in secondary schools and kindergartens beginning on Tuesday.

Albert Au Ka-wing, principal medical and health officer of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, said in a press briefing that the new cases included 272 local infections and 11 imported cases. 

1,500 kindergartens and child care centers and 400 secondary schools will gradually resume classes starting tomorrow

ALSO READ: HK continues tracing COVID-19 through sewage surveillance

He said 120 were confirmed through nucleic acid tests and 163 by rapid antigen tests.

Quoting the Education Bureau, Au said 1,500 kindergartens and child care centers and 400 secondary schools will gradually resume classes.  

“Here’s an appeal: Before students go to school, they should do a rapid antigen test. If they test negative, they can go to school,” Au said. 

“We expect some positive cases will be picked up but that is because we still have hundreds of cases reported everyday in the community. That means silent transmission chains still exist in the community that may affect students as well,” he added.   

ALSO READ: HK selects 2 more payment platforms to disburse e-vouchers    

Au said there was a chance that 10 to 20 positive cases could be found among students and school staff members once classes resume.

He also said that the 11 imported cases included six that were detected at the airport. They comprised two cases each from South Korea and Singapore and one each from Malaysia and Taiwan region. 

Four other imported infections were confirmed during quarantine, including cases from India, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. A traveller from Thailand tested positive on the 12th day after his arrival. 

“We believe this may be a local infection but we can’t rule out other possibilities,” Au said.

READ MORE: HK continues providing free virus tests for elderly

Larry Lee Lap-yip, chief manager (Integrated Clinical Services) of the Hospital Authority, said at the briefing that three patients who were infected with COVID-19 died in the last 24 hours, including two men and a woman aged 74 to 96.

All were over the age of 65 while one of them was unvaccinated, Lee said, adding that there were also two deaths on April 30 that were not reported earlier.