People enjoy the evening breeze at West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade on July 27, 2022. (PHOTO/CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported a slight drop in its daily COVID-19 cases on Friday, logging 9,901 fresh infections over the past 24 hours as eight more patients passed away.
The daily COVID caseload in the financial hub passed the 10,000 mark on Thursday for the first time since March 25 as cases linked to the Omicron subvariants BA.4 or BA.5 continued to increase and accounted for 60 percent of new infections.
Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said at a news briefing on Friday that there were 9,714 new local cases and 187 imported ones
Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said at a news briefing on Friday that there were 9,714 new local cases and 187 imported ones. She added that the city is seeing a rising trend in infection despite a slight drop in daily numbers Friday.
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The BA.5 strain accounted for 53 percent of new cases while the previously dominant strain BA2.2 was linked to 34 percent. BA.4 cases accounted for 7 percent and BA.2.12.1 had 6 percent, according to Chuang.
Of the 187 imported cases, 70 were detected at the airport, 57 at quarantine hotels or centers, and 60 in the community. Twenty-five cases came from the United Kingdom, 24 from Thailand, 18 each from the Philippines and Singapore, 15 from the United States and 12 from India.
Three residential care homes for the elderly had new cases while 237 schools reported 264 students and 73 teaching staff members being infected, Chuang said.
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Lau Ka-hin, chief manager (quality and standards) of the Hospital Authority, said in the same briefing that the eight patients who passed away included seven men and one woman aged 57 to 92 years old.
Three of the patients were not fully vaccinated and most of them also had chronic diseases like cancer, kidney failure, and myocardial infarction. The new additions brought the city’s death toll during the fifth wave to 9,496.
Lau said there were 2,667 COVID in-patients receiving treatment as of Friday at public hospitals, including 350 new patients.
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Forty-eight were in critical condition, including 13 receiving intensive care, and 54 in serious condition, he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Justice Secretary Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan and Permanent Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Joe Wong have become the latest government officials to catch COVID-19.
The duo both last went to work on Thursday and are now under isolation, according to statements issued by the government on Friday.
They both wore masks at work and have no recent travel history. Their offices will be thoroughly cleansed and staff will be tested for the virus.