A man rides a bicycle next to Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on April 7, 2022.

HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported 1,921 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, down from 2,535 on Saturday, health officials said.

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 1903 local infections and 18 imported cases. 

The 18 imported cases involved travelers from the Philippines, Turkey, Greece, US, Indonesia, Tokyo, France, Spain, and India

He said 888 were confirmed through nucleic acid tests and 1,033 by rapid antigen tests.

He said the imported cases involved travelers from the Philippines, Turkey, Greece, US, Indonesia, Tokyo, France, Spain, and India.

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Au said that, because three cases were found in their flights, Japan Airlines flights from Tokyo will be banned from April 11 to 17 while Turkish Airlines flights from Istanbul were banned from Sunday to April 16.

He said the first two days of the voluntary mass RAT self-testing has helped authorities identify 2,202 cases, with many of them having no symptoms.

“We can see it’s effective. Close to 70 percent of the cases are asymptomatic,” Au said.  

“Had these people not done an RAT test, they would not have known they were infected…The transmission would have gone on and on, leading to more cases in the community,” he added. 

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Lau Ka-hin, chief manager (quality and standards) of the Hospital Authority, said in the same briefing that there were 53 patients infected with COVID-19 who passed away, including 23 men and 30 women aged 62 to 104 years-old. 

He said 25 came from residential care homes and 31 had no vaccination records.

Lau also said that there were 12 previous deaths, involving seven men and five women aged 31 to 93, that were not reported earlier. 

The 31 year-old patient who died had a heart condition. His family found him after he fainted and had convulsions at home on March 9, Lau said.

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He said the patient’s family called an ambulance but the doctors at the hospital found that he had no pulse and was not breathing. They were not able to revive him. 

On April 6, a forensic pathologist confirmed that the patient had COVID-19, Lau said. 

He also said that five critical patients and 11 patients in serious condition were being treated in public hospitals while 62 were in intensive case units.