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CHP investigates 3 755 confirmed and 3 124 asymptomatic additional SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 8 910 cases pending status by nucleic acid tests as well as 11 858 cases tested positive by rapid antigen tests
     ​The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (March 12) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, March 12, the CHP was investigating 15 789 additional cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus by nucleic acid tests (3 755 confirmed cases, 3 124 additional asymptomatic cases and 8 910 cases with pending case status) in the past 24 hours. Separately, 11 858 additional positive cases through rapid antigen tests (RAT) (8 546 symptomatic cases and 3 312 asymptomatic cases) were reported. Hong Kong has recorded a total of 610 300 and 64 147 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests and RAT respectively for the SARS-CoV-2 virus so far.

     The aforementioned newly reported cases consist of one imported case and 15 788 locally acquired cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests, as well as 11 858 locally acquired cases tested positive by RAT. The CHP is continuing with epidemiological investigations on the cases. A list of buildings related to the cases is available at the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" (www.coronavirus.gov.hk).

     In addition, as of 0.00am, March 12, a total of 3 516 deaths related to COVID-19 during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) was recorded, with 3 507 and nine deaths reported from the Hospital Authority and public mortuaries respectively. Hong Kong has so far recorded a total of 3 729 deaths related to COVID-19.

     Furthermore, among the earlier cases by nucleic acid tests reported, there were cases (including pending cases) changed to confirmed, asymptomatic or re-positive cases. As at yesterday (March 11), the total number of confirmed cases was 251 188, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases, pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1 were 119 908, 10 and 223 405 respectively.

     The CHP reminded relevant individuals, who completed initial reporting via the "Declaration System for individuals tested positive for COVID-19 using Rapid Antigen Test" as well as their household contacts that, after receiving an SMS with the reference number concerned, they should follow the link to log-in and upload their supporting documents (photo of the RAT result and/or identity document) as soon as possible, so as to facilitate a speedy epidemiological follow-up of the CHP for appropriate support for patients with higher risks. After reviewing the usage by members of the public after the launch of the system, the CHP announced that with effect from 0.00am, March 14, logging-in to the linked website provided in the SMS will only be valid for 24 hours after the SMS was sent. Relevant individuals must upload the supporting documents within 24 hours upon receipt of the SMS, or else their log-in will become invalid and they would not be able to upload supporting documents with the link and download their isolation or quarantine order issued by the CHP in accordance with the law. In addition, they will not be able to report again via the system. With regard to SMS sent between March 7 and 0.00am, March 13, those links will also become invalid at 0.00am, March 14.

     The spokesman for the CHP stressed that the local situation of COVID-19 infection became severe recently and there is a continuous increase in the number of cases involving mutant strains that carry higher transmissibility. With the higher transmissibility and risk of infection of the Omicron mutant strain, the CHP strongly appeals to the community to continue to comply with the social distancing measures, avoid going out and 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 reminded that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe cases and deaths from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They can provide effective protection to those vaccinated in preventing serious complications and even death after infection. People who are yet to receive vaccination, especially senior citizens, chronic patients and other immunocompromised persons who face a higher chance of death after COVID-19 infection, should get vaccinated as early as possible for self-protection and to reduce the risk of falling seriously ill and death should they get infected. Meanwhile, a person who gets COVID-19 and influenza at the same time may be more seriously ill and would have a higher risk of death. Influenza vaccination may reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation and the length of stay. In addition, seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 6 months or above except those with known contraindications. Persons at higher risk of getting influenza and its complications, including the elderly and children, should receive seasonal influenza vaccination early. Please see details of the vaccination schemes on the CHP's website (www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/17980.html).
Ends/Saturday, March 12, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:58
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