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HK reports 27,674 new Covid cases, 285 deaths

12 March 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap

Vaccinating seniors is a top priority, given the high mortality among them when they catch the virus

Health authorities have reported a total of 27,674 new coronavirus cases Saturday, which were detected through both PCR and rapid antigen tests. One was imported, while the rest were all locally acquired. 

Those from PCR tests numbered 15,789 while the confirmed results from RAT were 11,855 cases.

The new cases took Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally in the fifth wave to 725,927. These include 661,816 cases confirmed by PCR and 11,858 cases by RAT.


The death toll also remained high, with 285 cases reported from the past week. These include a record 198 deaths that occurred in the past 24 hours, and 87 that happened between Mar 7 and 10.

According to Dr Albert Au of the Centre for Health Protection, there have been 3,516 deaths in the fifth wave, which started in late December last year. This accounts for a 0.53 mortality rate, the highest in the world.

The fatalities were aged from 11 months to 112 years old, with the average age of 85 years old.

An overwhelming majority of the patients were aged 60 and above, accounting for 3,351 of the cases. Of these, there were 2,459 who were aged 80 and above.

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The figures reinforce experts’ advice that vaccination is key to preventing serious complications, even deaths, especially among the elderly.

Au said 89.5% of those who died did not receive any vaccine dose or received only partial vaccination. The figure is sharply higher at 91.4% for those aged 80 and above.

Dr Sara Ho of the Hospital Authority said that those who passed away on Friday were 122 males and 76 females, aged 36 to 107 years old. A record 119 patients came from care homes.

Those who received no vaccination at all numbered 140, while 27 had one dose and 21 had two doses.

There were 122 who were aged 65 years old and above.

The youngest fatality was a 36-year-old female who was chronically ill with kidney and heart problems. She developed a fever and had to be intubated when she was admitted to a hospital.

Another was a 44-year-old man who had a heart valve replacement and was taken to hospital complaining of difficulty in breathing. He was also intubated before he passed on.

The others, aged 51, 54, and 57, all had serious ailments including cancer, and one was bedridden and was fed through tubes.

The 87 other cases which were not reported on time included 57 men and 30 women, aged 19 to 104.

The youngest fatality was a teenage boy with a brain tumor that had already metastasized.

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Another was a 46-year-old wheelchair-bound man who was in a care home. An outreach team found him having breathing difficulties because of a low oxygen level. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

As of 9am today, 10,137 patients were being treated in public hospitals. Among them, a record 164 patients were in critical condition, and 220 are in serious condition.

A total of 960 patients have been treated and discharged from hospitals.

As of the latest count, 14,025 hospital staff have tested positive for Covid-19, although around 6,530 have already returned to work.

The infection rate among locked-down buildings remains high, says Au (left) with Ho

Responding to a reporter’s question, Au said today’s figure was nearly the same as the previous day's so it was not right to say there had been a marked reduction in the number of cases.

He also warned that the infection rate from the lockdown of public housing estate where the virus was found in their sewage remained at a high 12.5% on average.

“The virus is still active and there are hot spots there,” he said.


He adeclined to say whether the number of RAT cases is severely underreported because many people have decided to just isolate at home and treat their infection by themselves. 

Au said the government wants everyone who tests positive on a rapid test to report their case immediately so they can be isolated and given medical support. This will also give officials a better picture of the extent of infection from the fifth wave. 

He also reminded those who reported their RAT result to comply with the direction in an SMS sent to them to upload photos of their Hong Kong ID card and their positive result within 24 hours so they can be given immediate support.

Asked about complaints that the CHP has failed to send messages to some patients immediately, Au said they were aware of the problem, and their IT colleagues are already working on a solution.

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