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Stay at home, says health chief, as HK posts record-high 351 new Covid-19 cases

05 February 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Top health officials give the grim news at today's press conference

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan has again called on the public to stay at home and avoid gathering as she reported an unprecedented 351 Covid-19 cases being detected in Hong Kong, the biggest number ever recorded since the pandemic began two years ago.

All but eight of the new cases were locally acquired, and officials are still tracing the source of more than 160 cases. More than 200 preliminary positive cases have been reported.

Speaking at today’s press conference, Chan said “the situation is indeed, very worrying,” as she reported multiple spread of the virus in various buildings, either vertically, horizontally, or from person to person.


She said the government is embarking on a number of initiatives to respond to the growing crisis, but needs the help of everyone to stop the spread of the virus.

“Our contact tracing, our testing and also other measures are already taking effect, but we are running as fast as we can in order to compete with the speed of the virus, therefore everybody’s help is necessary and is being called for.”

Apart from the fresh initiatives already announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam yesterday, Chan said the government has drawn up measures that will further cut down the number of people gathering, though these will still need the approval of the Executive Council.

Among the measures being proposed is to limit the use of certain venues, including public transportation, to those who are vaccinated.

Already in the pipeline are various contingency measures that will be put in place if the surge in confirmed cases continues, overwhelming hospitals.


These include converting Penny’s Bay into a “community quarantine facility” where confirmed patients with mild or no symptoms will be sent. From next week, all close contacts currently staying at the facility will be moved in phases so the camp could begin taking in confirmed patients.

Household contacts of close contacts will be allowed to stay at home for 4 days, provided certain criteria are met. They will be required to wear tracking bracelets and undergo tests using the antigen kits during specified dates, and provide updates on their medical condition.

If the conditions worsen, even close contacts will be allowed to undergo home quarantine for 14 days, under the same conditions.

Pindutin para sa detalye

They will not be allowed to entertain guests and must obtain their food and supplies on their own. A team from the Home Affairs Department could provide help for patients who need extra care, or to help look for quarantine places if their flats are not suitable for isolation.

At the end of the 14 days they will only be allowed to go out if they test negative.

Dr Chan says the govt is doing all it can to stop the spread of the virus, but the public must help

The other measures Chan mentioned are the enhancement of the government’s testing capability to no less than 300,000 tests a day, distribution of rapid antigen testing kits to everyone in the city in lieu of mass testing, setting up a third group of experts that will do contact tracing, and stepping up the testing of sewage water in places where the virus is detected.

She advised everyone to get tested if they develop symptoms of Covid-19, are issued with a compulsory testing notice, or their place of residence is put under a lockdown.

Finally, she said everyone who is qualified to get a coronavirus vaccine must get a jab if they have not done so yet, for their own protection.

Press for details

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection reported that of the 343 local cases detected today, 24 carried the L452R strain of the Delta variant, while the majority are suspected Omicron carriers.

She said among the new cases are six who all attended a religious service at a mosque in Sham Shui Po, and some cleaners, security guards and staff of several shops and restaurants in Yuen Long Plaza. Because of suspected transmission within the building, the CHP has recommended the closure of Yuen Long Plaza.

Residents in several housing blocks have been evacuated and moved to a quarantine centre also because of suspected transmissions. These inlcude those who live on the second floor of Hing Ping House, Tai Hing Estate in Tuen Mun, those in unit 6 on the 10th floor of Polam Estate in Tseung Kwan O, and those living in A and C units at 104 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po.


Dr Lau Ka-hin, chief manager at the Hospital Authority said that as of 9am today, a total of 1,417 confirmed patients are being treated at infection control centers in North Lantau Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and AsiaWorld Expo, and 14 public hospitals.

One patient, a 77-year-old unvaccinated woman with diabetes and other chronic illnesses, remains in critical condition while the rest are all stable.

Also attending today’s press conference were Director of Health Dr Ronald Lam and Hospital Authority Chief Executive Dr Tony Ko.


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