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HK Covid-19 cases down to 37,529 but death toll rises to 220

05 March 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Doctors say people should remain vigilant because the infection remains severe

Hong Kong today reported a total of 37,529 confirmed cases of Covid-19 cases, a marked decrease from the more than 50,000 infections reported for the past three consecutive cases.

But Dr Albert Au of the Centre for Health Protection said the situation remained serious and  people should not rely on a single-day tally from PCR tests to conclude that the infection has eased.

“Or probably another reason is that more people are using rapid antigen tests (RAT) instead of PCR,” he said. “If we add the RAT result it should be about 50,000 or even more…so our analysis is it is still serious.”


He spoke at the daily press update a few hours after respiratory expert David Hui said during a radio interview that 15 percent of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million population (or 1.125 million) have already been infected with Covid-19.

Hui said the numbers are based from the 15 to 20 percent positivity rate detected in the recent lockdowns of buildings across Hong Kong.

The government expert adviser also said the number would continue to increase before peaking in mid-March.

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“Many colleagues and friends of mine have tested positive through rapid tests, and are resting and isolating at home. So our case numbers will definitely rise, as these people haven’t been included in our infection figures,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hospital Authority’s Dr Larry Lee said a total of 220 additional deaths were recorded today, with 150 of them occurring in the past 24 hours. The additional 70 happened between Feb 24 and Mar 3 but were not reported on time.

Experts say results from RATs will give a better picture of the extent of the infection

They took the total death toll from the fifth wave of infections that began in late December to 1,561.

A total of 7,125 patients are being treated in public hospitals. Among them are 61 patients who are in critical condition, 40 of them unvaccinated; and a further 109 in serious condition, with 77 of them not having received a single dose of vaccine.


Those who recovered and were discharged as of 9am today numbered 745, which is about 10% of the high-risk people who are in hospital.

Of the 150 people who succumbed in hospital yesterday, 90 were males and 60 were females, aged between 32 to 105 years old.


Eighty-two were from residential care homes, which account for more than half of all deaths daily. All except 13 were aged 65 years old and above.

Those who did not have a single vaccine jab totaled 109, while 21 had a single dose and one was triple-jabbed.


The patient who had three doses was a 32-year-old female who first tested positive on a rapid test on Feb 28. She was rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital on Mar 2 with fever and other serious symptoms and died yesterday.

A blood test showed some abnormality – maybe cancer, said Dr Lee.

Five others aged below 60 had chronic ailments like heart or kidney problems and cancer, while one suffered from brain hemorrhage.

Dr Au said a study conducted among the 1,344 patients who died earlier showed a whopping 91.3% had no vaccination.

“There is a huge difference in the death rate for those who were vaccinated and those were not,” he said.

A big number of them, or 909 patients, came from residential care homes, so Dr Au said more outreach teams have been formed to visit the facilities to administer vaccine to residents there.

He also said restricted testing declarations or lockdowns continue to be imposed on residential blocks where the virus was found in their sewage.

The virus is said to contain a heavy viral load so there is need to immediately isolate, test and treat residents there.

On the oft-repeated question on when the platform for declaring positive results for RATs will be set up, Dr Au said he could not give a definite answer, except that the government’s IT experts have been hard at work trying to resolve a lot of problems that may occur.

The biggest concern is that once it is set up, a big number of people – “maybe 150,000” he said – would rush to access the platform, causing it to get overloaded and prevent easy access.

But he said the platform is necessary because the RAT results are necessary to give the government a better picture of the extent of the infection.

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