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Police and other law enforcers to help with contact tracing

07 January 2021

 By The SUN 

Police will now help track down close contacts of infected patients

Health officials have announced that about 100 officers from the disciplinary forces, meaning the police, immigration and customs, will help track down close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 patients starting on Monday.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, communicable disease head at the Centre for Health Protection said the law enforcers will start working with medical staff at a new command centre in Kai Tak.

Chuang said the officers will be given a briefing and an on-the-job training. They will be tasked with looking for close contacts at their homes if they can’t be reached by phone.

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She made the announcement as she reported 33 new coronavirus infections today, Jan 7, which brought the total number of cases in Hong Kong to 9,108. About 30 preliminary positive cases were also reported.

Four of the new cases were imported, and the 29 others, locally acquired, including 5 with unknown sources.

The 24 linked cases included 11 linked to the construction site at the Tseung Kwan O – Lam Tin tunnel. There are now 27 cases in this cluster, made up of 15 workers and 12 of their close contacts, many of whom were confirmed to have the virus while in quarantine.

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The imported cases were all returnees – one from Nepal, and three from Pakistan.

Chui says it's not yet time to relax as there are still many silent carriers around

Undersecretary for Food and Health Dr Chui Tak-yi said at the daily press briefing that between Dec 24 and 30 last year, a total of 425 Covid-19 cases were recorded, more than a third (35%) of whom were from unknown sources.

Between Dec 31 last year and Jan 6 this year, there were 296 cases, mostly locally acquired. Of these, 27% had untraceable sources.

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In this two-week period, 26% of the patients had no symptoms, underlining the need to remain vigilant as the silent transmission in the community continues to claim more victims.

Chui said that even though the total number of cases has gone down in the last few days, people should still avoid gathering as the epidemic may rebound sharply if precautions are not taken.

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Dr Linda Yu, chief manager of the Hospital Authority, said that as of 9am today, 633 confirmed patients are in 22 public hospitals and the treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo. Forty-one of them are in critical condition, 47 are seriously ill, and 542 are stable.

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