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HK posts record-high 55,353 cases Wednesday, 160 new deaths

02 March 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Many of the new cases were found during multiple daily lockdowns across the city (File) 

Hong Kong’s Covid-19 infection rate surged to a new record-high 55,353 cases, nearly double yesterday’s tally of more than 32,000.

Today’s figure took Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 infections from the fifth wave of the pandemic to 281,099.

Dr Albert Au of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said the real figure may be much higher, given that those who test positive on rapid antigen tests (RAT) have yet to be included in the daily count.

Once a platform for reporting positive RAT results has been set up, Au said the government would have a better idea of how serious the situation is.


“We expect that everyday there will be a hike in the numbers, but that only represents reality because previously many people could not get tested because of the backlog,” Au said.

Despite this attempt, however, the true picture of how extensive the infection has been in the fifth wave of the epidemic may not be fully known because Au said old infections will no longer be added to the daily tally.

“But we will explain how they can be added to the statistics,” he said.

A RAT test that shows one horizontal line means the person is negative for Covid-19

To defuse the demand on the public health care system, the government said last week that it would recognize all positive RAT results as confirmed cases, so patients need no longer undergo a PCR test in a community testing center for confirmation.

Unless they have serious symptoms, patients have also been told to isolate at home. If they are fully vaccinated, they should test themselves using RAT on the 6th and 7th days of their isolation. If both results are negative, they can end their isolation without having to inform the CHP.

However, if they still test positive they should remain in isolation until they get two consecutive negative results.


Dr Au said that of today’s confirmed cases, 27 were imported, and 23 of these were passengers of a CX796 flight from Indonesia, which has been banned for two weeks as a result.

He said the CHP is still investigating the cases, but the flight from Jakarta was likely to have flown in mostly Indonesian foreign domestic helpers.

The newly reported deaths also rose to a new daily record of 117 cases, up by one from yesterday’s readjusted figure of 116. Most were elderly and had chronic diseases.


Hospital Authority’s Dr Larry Lee said 43 other deaths which occurred in the past few days have also just been added as they were not recorded previously.

They took the city’s death toll from the fifth wave to 967.

Among about 6,400 patients still undergoing treatment in public hospitals, the overwhelming majority of those who are critically or seriously ill are unvaccinated.

Of the 64 who are in critical condition, 55 are unvaccinated; while of the 88 who are seriously ill, 64 have not received any coronavirus vaccine.


Yesterday’s fatalities were comprised of 73 males and 44 females aged 58 to 100 years old.

Seventy-eight of them came from residential care homes, and 95 did not receive any vaccine dose while six had two doses and 16 had one jab each.

The 43 deaths that occurred between Feb 26 and 28 involved 31 males and 12 females aged 59 to 99 years old.

Only four of the recent deaths were aged 65 and below. Three died shortly after admission to hospital - two had kidney problems while one had cancer.

The fourth had mental illness and had been in Kowloon Hospital for some time. She was moved to Queen Elizabeth Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, and succumbed a few hours afterwards.

Dr Lee also reported that 4,322 HA staff have tested positive for Covid-19, and only around 600 have returned to work since.

Dr Au also reported new infections in 55 residential care homes, involving 488 residents and 228 staff.

So far, 670 care homes catering to the elderly or disabled have reported positive cases in the fifth wave.

He said children and the elderly still get priority in admission to hospitals. But they cannot be housed in isolation facilities as these do not have support for those requiring medical attention.

Those who are given priority for entering an isolation facility are those newly infected as they carry a heavy viral load, meaning they are highly contagious.

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