A man walks past the entrance to a designated clinic for COVID-19 in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, April 4, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported 366 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, as the government said the outbound travel alert issued for COVID-19 on overseas territories will be lifted on May 1.
Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said in a news briefing that the new infections included 14 imported cases and 352 local infections.
She said 196 of the cases were confirmed through nucleic acid tests and 170 by rapid antigen tests. Seven students and two school staff member from seven schools tested positive.
Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said in a news briefing that the new infections comprised 14 imported cases and 352 local infections
Of the 14 imported cases on Friday, eight were detected at the airport, including three that came from Amsterdam on Cathay Pacific flight CX270 and four from Dubai on Emirates flight EK384, Chuang said.
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Since the two flights had three or more passengers who tested positive upon arrival, the two routes are suspended from April 30 to May 6, she added.
Lau Ka-hin, chief manager (quality and standards) of the Hospital Authority, said six patients who tested positive for COVID-19 passed away in the last 24 hours, including two men and four woman aged 71 to 96, bringing the tally during the fifth wave of the pandemic to 9,085.
He said two of them came from residential care homes and three did not have any vaccination records.
Lifting outbound travel alert
The government said on Friday that the outbound travel alert issued for COVID-19 on overseas territories will be lifted starting from next month.
It issued the red outbound travel alert on all overseas territories on March 17, 2020, in view of the global epidemic situation at the time, and strongly urged members of the public to avoid any non-essential travel outside Hong Kong. The red alert has remained in effect.
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In a statement, a spokesman for the government said the epidemic situations in overseas places with frequent traffic with Hong Kong have generally been on a downward trend. In addition, Hong Kong residents who needed to return to Hong Kong must be fully vaccinated.
“The risk of travelling overseas has lowered relatively. As such, the government considers that the OTA issued due to the epidemic on all overseas countries/territories can be lifted at this juncture,” the spokesman said.
The Department of Health, however, still advised members of the public to avoid non-essential travel outside Hong Kong as the global epidemic situation still remains.