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CHP investigates 4 444 confirmed and 3 359 asymptomatic additional SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 5 532 cases pending status by nucleic acid tests as well as 19 095 cases tested positive by rapid antigen tests
    ​The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (March 13) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, March 13, the CHP was investigating 13 335 additional cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus by nucleic acid tests (4 444 confirmed cases, 3 359 asymptomatic cases and 5 532 cases with pending case status) in the past 24 hours. Separately, 19 095 additional positive cases through rapid antigen tests (RAT) (13 973 symptomatic cases and 5 122 asymptomatic cases) were reported. Hong Kong has recorded a total of 623 635 and 83 242 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 three imported cases and 13 332 locally acquired cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests, as well as 19 095 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 13, a total of 3 780 deaths related to COVID-19 during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) was recorded, with 3 771 and nine deaths reported from the Hospital Authority and public mortuaries respectively. Hong Kong has so far recorded a total of 3 993 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 12), the total number of confirmed cases was 254 982, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases, pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1 were 123 033, 10 and 232 275 respectively.

     Also, as a passenger flight (TG600) operated by Thai Airways arriving in Hong Kong from Bangkok, Thailand, on March 9 had one passenger who tested positive upon arrival, and two passengers who failed to comply with the requirements specified under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H), the DH thus invoked Cap. 599H to prohibit the landing of passenger flights from Bangkok operated by Thai Airways in Hong Kong from March 13 to 26.

     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/Sunday, March 13, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:50
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