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CE says HK will keep all Covid restrictions until end of June

07 June 2022

By The SUN 

CE Lam says HK will not tighten or relax any Covid restrictions until she leaves

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said earlier today that all social distancing measures, including border restrictions, will remain unchanged until her terms ends at the end of June.

That includes the seven-day hotel quarantine, negative result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours of boarding a flight to Hong Kong, and flight suspensions for airlines that incur a number of violations of pre-boarding regulations.

Hours after she made the statement, the Centre for Health Protection reported 489 new Covid-19 cases, 231 of them confirmed from PCR tests and the remaining 258 from self-declared positive results from rapid antigen tests.


CE Lam said that following a sharp increase in the number of false-positive cases reported to the CHP, everyone who report positive results from rapid tests will be required to undergo a PCR test for confirmation.

As a result, the CHP said in its daily press briefing that it was changing the way it was reporting daily infections. Starting today, only self-declared rapid tests confirmed by PCR will be added to the daily tally.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, CE said it was too early to tell if Hong Kong was headed towards another wave of infections, but called the daily caseload that now hovers around the 500 mark “concerning.”

"For the time being, it is a bit too early to say that we are now confronting a sixth wave of Covid-19 epidemic because it needs a lot more indicators in order to confirm the situation,” she said.

It was inevitable for the cases to rise, according to her, because some infected people have been allowed to isolate at home. This in turn, led to some indicators to go up, including the viral load in the sewage.

For the time being, she said the anti-pandemic curbs will not be eased, but they won’t be tightened, either, unless there’s another major outbreak. She said most people will agree that Hong Kong should continue to return to normality, although at a slower pace.


However, she added she will be meeting with government health advisers to discuss the situation.

Meanwhile, CHP’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said the false positive rate of between 15 and 15 percent in recent days has gone far beyond expectations.

Chuang says that from today, all positive rapid test results will be confirmed through PCR tests

"We think this is not ideal, so we will change our way of reporting the cases. For positive rapid test results that have not been checked by PCR tests, we will not consider them as confirmed infections,” she said.

Thus, all the 258 who were reported today as having declared positive results from rapid tests will be asked to give specimen samples for nucleic acid testing tomorrow. The results from the confirmatory tests will be announced on Thursday or Friday.

Chuang also reported four more cases involving the Omicron BA.2.12.1 sub-variant. Two of them were family members of a previously confirmed patient while the source of infection of the two others is unknown.

The two latter patients live in Yan Yuet House in Fanling, involving a 15-year-old girl and her 67-year-old family member.

As for the bars, 12 new confirmed cases were found among those who had been to Shuffle, taking the number of cases there to 97.

LINQ, where a cluster of cases were found at about the same time, did not have any new case, so the total tally there remains at 93.

Chuang also reported that 72 cases were reported by 62 schools, involving 56 students and 16 teachers.

They included a student at  Kowloon Tong Funful English Primary School who is a sibling of a previously confirmed case. There are now four cases linked to this cluster.

Chuang said the affected classes in this school, and another at Kiangsu and Chekiang Primary School in North Point which has about 30 students, have been told to stop reporting for class after a small outbreak in cases there.

Five students and two teachers in one class of the school’s international section have tested positive for Covid-19.

The day’s caseload also included 53 imported cases, 32 of which were detected at the airport and 17 were identified during hotel quarantine.

The total infection tally from the fifth wave has now gone up to 1.203 million with 9,176 deaths.

This was after Dr Lau Ka-hin of the Hospital Authority reported that three more patients, a man and two women aged 81 to 93, succumbed to the disease.

There are now 372 patients receiving treatment at public hospitals and medical facilities. They include 12 who are in critical condition and seven in serious condition.

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