People walk past a residential apartment block in Hong Kong on May 20, 2022.
(ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong recorded 3,256 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday as four more patients infected with the coronavirus passed away, health authorities said.
The new cases comprised 3,019 local infections and 237 imported cases, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said in a news briefing.
“We’ve continuously seen over 3,000 daily confirmed cases and it’s an upward trend..We’re concerned that if the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, our public heath care system would be affected as well,” Chuang said.
Fifty-nine of the imported came from the United Kingdom, 24 from the United States, 18 from Singapore, 16 from the Philippines, 12 each from India and Canada, and the rest from 48 other countries, said Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection
She said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government was striving not to impose more stringent social distancing measures because of their high social costs.
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“But we don’t have the conditions to relax them further so we appeal to everybody to observe the relevant measures,” she added.
Chuang said 122 of the imported cases were detected at the airport, 89 at quarantine hotels, and 26 after they had finished their quarantine.
Fifty-nine came from the United Kingdom, 24 from the United States, 18 from Singapore, 16 from the Philippines, 12 each from India and Canada, and the rest from 48 other countries.
She said 385 schools reported 498 cases involving 408 students and 90 staff members. Eight schools had to suspend one in-person class each after infections were detected.
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Chuang added that a driver and an attendant of a kindergarten bus service tested positive but none of the students who rode the bus have been infected.
She also said that 56 suspected cases involving the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 were found, including 33 that were untraceable, while 30 BA.4 or BA.5 infections were detected.
Larry Lee Lap-yip, chief manager (Integrated Clinical Services) of the Hospital Authority, said at the same briefing that four COVID-19 patients passed away, bringing the toll during the fifth wave to 9,231.
They included one male and three females aged 90 to 99 years old. Three of them had underlying conditions like arrythmia, renal failure, and high blood pressure while the oldest–the 99-year-old-woman–had no chronic disease.
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Lee said 1,190 patients were being treated in public hospitals as of Tuesday, including 152 new patients.
Twenty of them were in critical condition, including seven receiving intensive care, while 40 were in serious condition, he added.