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Health officials warn of hundreds of infection chains as cases hit 342

06 February 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap

Dr Lam says at least 320 cases came from untraceable sources

A Hong Kong health official has warned that there are at least 320 unknown sources of Covid-19 transmission in the city, as 342 new infections were recorded, all of them locally transmitted.

Director of Health Dr Ronald Lam said in Sunday’s press briefing on the Covid-19 situation, the figure represents the number of cases that could not be linked to previous infections.

The surge in infections is expected to continue tomorrow, as more than 300 preliminary positive cases were recorded as of 4pm today.


“Bearing in mind that one case can spread to more than one person, representing one transmission chain, so the minimum is 320,” he said.

“So it’s a very severe and widespread situation in terms of spread in the community and it is essential and critically important that we continue the containment policy, especially using the most effective tools of contact tracing, quarantine and also sending those detected cases to the hospital.”

He said the untraceable cases were found mostly in the districts of Sham Shui Po, Shatin, Kowloon City, Kwai Hing and Wong Tai Sin.


Lam said many of the recent cases resulted from cross-family gatherings, and because of this, he again issued an appeal to residents to avoid visiting other people’s homes.

“One of the characteristics of this new wave is that there were a lot of cross-family gatherings, especially during the Chinese New Year. We expect that there will be more cases to come. Out of concern for family members they should reduce such family gatherings,” he said.

He also appealed to relatives of elderly people in care homes to arrange for their family members’ vaccination, citing figures showing a vaccination rate of only about 20% for those aged 80 and above, and 50% for those between 70 and 80%.


While the prevalent Omicron variant of the coronavirus is highly transmissible, he said unvaccinated people could spread it even more.

He cited the case of a female air crew member who passed on the virus to family members who were unvaccinated like herself. The infection spread rapidly because the entire family was unvaccinated.

Another example was the husband of a Pakistani woman who acquired the Omicron from Silka Seaview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei during quarantine. The man who was unvaccinated, sparked the spread of the coronavirus in Kwai Chung Estate, where 768 cases have been found so far.

Press for details

Dr Chuang Shuk-wan of the Centre for Health Protection said of today’s cases, around 100 are linked to previous infections while the remaining ones are still under investigation.

Yesterday, she said 136 of the record 351 cases reported remain untraceable.

Some of today's cases visited Che Kung Temple over the Lunar New Year holidays (File)

Three outbreaks at elderly homes are being investigated. In one located on Un Chau Street in Sham Shui Po, a 93-year-old unvaccinated female patient has tested positive, causing about 30 people in the facility had to be moved to quarantine.

In another case, a staff member of a Salvation Army care home has tested positive, causing the evacuation of some 40 residents.

In another home in Ho Man  Tin, two positive cases two preliminary positive cases have been found, including one kitchen worker and one nurse. Chuang said it's likely that some residents there need to go to quarantine.


Her other updates:

At a Sham Shui Po mosque where between 20 to 30 people gathered to pray, 11 people have tested positive, while one is preliminary positive case.

In virus-plagued Yuen Long Plaza, 13 people have tested positive.

Chuang said many of the new cases had eaten out during the Lunar New Year, while some had been to the Po Lin Monastery in Lantau and the Che Kung Temple in Shatin.


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