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Covid cases down to 29,381 but deaths remain at around 300

11 March 2022

By The SUN 

HA apologized over photo showing elderly patients sharing a ward with cadavers inside body bags

Health authorities reported another drop in new Covid-19 infections but the number of deaths continued to climb, with 196 new deaths being reported in the past 24 hours alone. Another 98 cases were added to the tally as they were not reported on time earlier.

The total confirmed cases added up to 29,381, with those tested positive from PCR tests making up 18,888 while an additional 10,493 came from reported rapid test results. Reporters who attended the daily press briefing Friday persisted in asking questions about a leaked photo showing elderly patients sharing a hospital ward with what appeared to be a number of corpses in body bags.

Hospital Authority’s chief manager Dr Sara Ho did not deny that what the photo showed was real, but said the incident happened some weeks ago, when the Covid surge was raging out of control, and the situation had been resolved.

She asked for understanding from the patients and family members of the deceased, saying staff had been “under immense pressure” because the fifth wave hit quickly and hard and was unprecedented in its severity.

Ho declined to name the hospital concerned, and just said the bodies of the deceased are no longer inside the wards as they had been moved to refrigerated containers outside the hospitals.

She appealed to families to make the necessary arrangements for claiming the bodies so the deceased could be laid to rest.

Since the start of the fifth wave of infections the death toll had steadily risen, and now hovers around 300, with about a third of the cases not being reported on time.

Friday’s record tally was made up of 127 males and 69 females aged 24 to 107 years old. As before, a big number – or 113 – were residents in care homes.

A Covid doctor was shown in a viral video breaking down over work pressure  

An overwhelming number, or 148, did not receive any vaccination, while 30 had one dose, 12 had two doses and one had three doses.

The youngest fatality, a 24-year-old male, had a hereditary disease and was living in a care home for the disabled. He was taken to hospital after vomiting and had seizures. He tested positive on admission and passed on shortly after.

There were five others who were all aged under 60, and all had chronic illnesses with some needing constant care.

They comprised 59 males and 39 females, aged from 34 to 100 years old. No other background was given on the individual cases.

As of Friday, a total of 3,231 patients have died from the fifth wave which started on Dec 31, 2021. Nine of the deceased were found infected during post-mortem while the rest all died in hospital.

The death toll from the pandemic overall stands at 3,444.

Meanwhile, Dr Albert Au of the Centre for Health Protection again said it appeared the fifth wave had peaked, judging from the consistent drop in the daily infection figure.

But while there was no longer an exponential increase in the number of cases, he said the daily tally of about 30,000 is still worrying, as it indicated a lot of silent transmissions were still going on.

He also pointed out that the infection rate in places that had been put under restricted testing declarations or lockdowns was between 10 to 20%, indicating widespread transmission.

He urged people to remain on guard, and continue practicing social distancing.

Au also revealed that a study conducted by government experts showed the same genome sequencing was found between imported hamsters and humans who tested positive for the Delta variant, indicating cross-infection.

He said that among those who tested positive in the fifth wave, 726 were found to carry Delta’s  L452R strain. The variant has not been seen in any of the cases in the past few days, indicating the spread has been contained.

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