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HK poised for a record Covid-19 tally

03 February 2022

 By Daisy CL Mandap 

Dr Chuang says 'hundreds, even more' cases could be detected soon

As the Lunar New Year holidays came to a close, an infectious disease expert again called on people not to gather, warning that “hundreds, even more” Covid-19 cases could be detected in the next few days because of many silent transmissions going on in the city.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection reported at the daily news briefing that 142 additional Covid-19 cases had been detected, and 31 of these were unlinked local cases, a new record for Hong Kong.

She also said 160 preliminary positive cases had been detected as of 4pm Thursday, indicating that the previous daily record of 164 new infections posted on Jan 27 is likely to be surpassed.


Most, or 121 of today’s new cases are local cases, and 15 of them carried the Delta strain. The rest were all suspected Omicron cases.

They took Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally to 14,013.

Chuang said many of the local cases reported today involved only mild or no symptoms at all, indicating that many infected but asymptomatic patients are going around the city, unknowingly infecting people around them.

The 129 untraceable cases recorded in the past two weeks alone are said to provide proof of the many invisible transmissions going on right now.


“From overseas experience, because Omicron is highly transmissible, we can expect a high exponential growth of cases,” said Chuang.

“So we are rather concerned that we will be seeing hundreds, even more cases soon, and that will cause a burden on our health care system.”

Asked whether social distancing measures need to be tightened further because of the continuing surge in cases, Chuang said the government is looking at the situation closely and will announce further measures as appropriate.


She said cases coming from cross-family gatherings have begun to be detected, citing one in Tuen Mun as an example.

“Please stay at home as much as possible and unless necessary, do not go to any large gatherings and engage in too many social activities,” she said.

Of the unlinked cases, two involved the Delta variant. The patients live in Choi Wan Estate and Tai Ping Estate in Sheung Shui.

The unlinked Omicron cases live in the following places: Pacific Palisades and City Garden in North Point, as well as Shatin, Tai Wai, Tai Po, Ma On Shan, Lam Tin, Tsz Hong Estate, Sham Shui Po, Shek Lei Estate, Park Island


Dr. Chuang said six of those who tested positive are cleaners who work in Science Park, Landmark, Hong Kong Adventist Hospital in Tsuen Wan, Tsz On Court in Tsz Wan Shan and Sun Chui Estate in Tai Wai.

Two staff at Times Café in Chung On Shopping Centre in Ma On Shan and four in Sun Sun Restaurant in Chuang’s London Plaza in Jordan were also among those infected.

4 staff members of Sun Sun restaurant in Jordan were among the new cases

Two others contracted the virus at a fish store in Hung Hom market, which was closed at 6pm Thursday and will remain shut on Friday for disinfection.

At an elderly home in Kwai Chung, a staff member tested positive days after another person there was found infected. The two had no contact with each other. As a result more than 60 residents and staff at the care home will be sent to quarantine.

Two recognizance holders also tested positive but could not be found. Chuang said one of them is due to report soon to an NGO.

Another housing block will be partially evacuated, amid fears of vertical and horizontal transmissions among flats. Residents of  flat 18 on the 6th and 7th floor of Bik Shui House, Shui Pin Wai Estate in Yuen Long will be moved to a quarantine center.

Meanwhile, two more passengers on Nepal Air flight RA409 which arrived in Hong Kong on Jan 25 were among 21 imported cases today. They took the total number of infections from the flight to a whopping 82.

Two foreign domestic workers were also on the list. One arrived from Indonesia on Feb 1 and was on her third day of quarantine at Courtyard by Marriott Hotel when she tested positive. The other was locally infected, and lives in Hing Lung Building in Wong Tai Sin.

Three male seafarers who sailed into Hong Kong from Singapore are also among the new cases.

Meanwhile, two flights were suspended for two weeks after a number of their passengers tested positive on arrival in Hong Kong.

Flight TK083 operated by Turkish Airlines arrived in Hong Kong from Istanbul on Feb 1 and six of its passengers were found infected on arrival.

The second is flight AY101 operated by Finnair which arrived on Feb 2. Five of its passengers tested positive on arrival.


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