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HK posts record-high 1,161 Covid-19 cases with 2 new deaths

09 February 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

The government aims to test 300k people daily amid HK's worst Covid-19 outbreak

Even with the strictest pandemic protocols in place, Covid-19 cases have continued to surge in Hong Kong, with the number of cases breaching the 1,000 mark for the first time today, Feb 9.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said at the daily news briefing that a total of 1,161 confirmed cases were recorded as of midnight last night. Another 800 have been reported as preliminary positive.

All but eight of the new cases were locally acquired, and as in the past few days, most could not be immediately linked to a previous infection.

For the first time in about half a year, two new deaths were also reported.

Dr Larry Lee, a chief manager of the Hospital Authority, said two elderly male patients passed away at Caritas Medical Hospital early this morning, taking the death toll to 215.

One was a 73-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital “in dire condition” and died at 4:45am. He had two doses of Sinovac vaccine.

The other fatality was a 76-year-old man with pulmonary diseases who also passed on early this morning. He was unvaccinated.

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Of the 1,990 patients still receiving treatment in public hospitals, two are now in critical condition, an 80-year-old man who is not vaccinated and a 57-year-old who received vaccination.

Three are in serious condition. Two of them, both males aged 50 and 56, each had a dose of a Covid vaccine. The third is a 77-year-old woman who is unvaccinated.

Lee again urged everyone, especially the elderly, to get vaccinated, saying that most of those suffering from severe symptoms now were either not fully jabbed, or had not been vaccinated at all.


Isolation wards and beds at public hospitals are near to capacity 

He also disclosed that 90% of all isolation beds and wards in public hospitals are now fully occupied while about 200 patients with little or no symptoms have been moved to the isolation facility at Penny’s Bay.

Meanwhile, 606 people identified as close contacts or second-level contacts are now under home quarantine for either 14 or four days.

Lee said that because hospitals are nearing full capacity, a new protocol for discharging patients will be implemented.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

Patients who have no symptoms need not wait anymore for 10 days to be discharged. They will be allowed to go home and continue their medical surveillance there for 14 days.

Those who experience mild symptoms and have not been tested are being urged not to go to hospitals, but to a private clinic or hospital. “If you test positive, ask a relative or a courier to submit a sample for confirmatory test,” he said.

If the second test also yields a positive result, Lee said the patient has to stay at home and wait to be booked in a hospital.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

“Some patients may need to wait for a few days to be sent to a hospital,” he said, adding that a hotline will be provided for those with urgent concerns.

Lee disclosed plans to set up more community isolation facilities like the one in Penny’s Bay for patients with mild or no symptoms, and reserve hospital spaces for those with more severe symptoms.

He also called on retired health workers to step up and help the Hospital Authority cope with the worsening situation, and for those with health experience to help man the hotline for patients.

Asked about the 79 hospital staff who were stricken by the virus recently, Lee said they were infected in the community and not at the workplace. While admitting that their infection has brought more hardship, hospitals are determined to continue providing care to those who need it.

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·         Chuang said there are about 1,400 cases still deemed as untraceable, and 500 of them were from yesterday’s confirmed cases. The cases were mostly detected in Sham Shui Po, Yuen Long, Tai Po, Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong and Shatin – places where previous outbreaks had been recorded.

Thus, she said experts believe that these untraceable cases within the same area had some from the same source, although a direct link to one particular case has yet to be established.

·         She said many of the cases were still from big family gatherings held over Chinese New Year. Many of those infected are homemakers, elderly people and retirees who do not usually go out much except to go the market or have an occasional meal out.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

Asked about the mass testing ordered for Discovery Bay residents, Chuang said she did not have details of the waste water there testing positive for the coronavirus. But she did say a number of cases had been detected among several people working as cleaners, customer service and concierge staff at Discovery Bay Plaza.

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