CHP investigates 12 confirmed and ten asymptomatic additional SARS-CoV-2 virus cases and identifies 31 additional Omicron cases from previously announced cases

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 12) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, January 12, the CHP was investigating 12 additional confirmed cases and ten additional asymptomatic cases in the past 24 hours (i.e. there were 22 additional cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus confirmed by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch in those 24 hours). This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 12 821 so far and starting from January 1 recorded with 181 asymptomatic cases. Hong Kong has recorded a total of 13 002 cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus so far.

     The newly reported cases consist of 17 imported cases, four cases epidemiologically linked with imported case, and one possibly import-related case. Nineteen of the cases involved mutant strains, mutation test results of two cases are pending, while the viral load of the remaining case is insufficient for mutation tests. The patients comprise 13 males and nine females, aged 11 to 62. For case details and contact tracing information, please see the Annex or the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" (

     The four cases epidemiologically linked with imported cases are 12986 (47-year-old male who is a household contact of case 12854), 12987 (11-year-old boy who is a family member of cases 12945 and 12966), 12988 (45-year-old female who is a family member of cases 12945 and 12966) and 12989 (30-year-old male who is a household contact of case 12903). The possibly import-related case is 13004 (51-year-old female living in Block 3, Po Tin Estate, Tuen Mun who works as a security guard at the Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre).

     A total of 375 cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been reported in the past 14 days (December 29, 2021, to January 11, 2022). Forty-nine of them are epidemiologically linked with imported cases/possibly import-related cases, one is a local case, while the rest are imported cases.

     Meanwhile, the whole genome sequencing analysis of cases announced earlier conducted by the PHLSB confirmed that cases 12775, 12776, 12784, 12790, 12808, 12809, 12812 to 12816, 12818, 12823, 12824, 12826, 12827, 12829 to 12837, 12908 to 12910, 12941, 12945 and 12966 all carried the Variant of Concern Omicron. Together with the aforementioned cases, there are so far 310 cases involving Omicron in Hong Kong.

     According to the testing and quarantine arrangements for cases with mutant strains, persons who resided or worked within the same building as the residence of relevant cases will be subject to compulsory testing on specified dates in accordance with the announcement by the DH. They will also be required to undergo self-monitoring until the 21st day (see the details of the buildings and dates of testing at

     The CHP strongly reminded members of the public to strictly follow the compulsory testing requirements and undergo the multiple tests on time as required. The compulsory testing requirement applies to those who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination course as well. The Government will seriously verify whether they had complied with the testing notices. Any person who fails to comply with the testing notices commits an offence and may be fined a fixed penalty of $5,000. The person would also be issued with a compulsory testing order requiring him or her to undergo testing within a specified time frame. Failure to comply with the order is an offence and the offender would be liable to a fine at level 4 ($25,000) and imprisonment for six months. Relevant officers of different government departments are empowered to perform certain functions under the relevant Regulations under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599), including requesting individuals to provide information and assistance when necessary. Any person who fails to comply with the relevant request commits an offence and would be liable to a fine at level 3 ($10,000). The Government reiterates that the aim of issuing a compulsory testing notice is to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community as soon as possible to protect overall public health and safety.

     With the higher transmissibility and risk of infection of the Omicron mutant strain, the CHP strongly appeals to the community to comply with the recently tightened social distancing measures in the next two weeks, and to refrain from participating in unnecessary or crowded activities or gatherings (particularly religious or cross-family activities and gatherings). This would lower the risk of infection and prevent the virus from spreading in the community.

     The spokesman for the CHP stressed, "The global situation of COVID-19 infection remains severe and there is a continuous increase in the number of cases involving mutant strains that carry higher transmissibility, and there are also reports of breakthrough infections in some vaccinated individuals. The CHP strongly urges members of the public to avoid all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong, in particular to specified places with high risk under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H)."

Ends/Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Issued at HKT 21:05