CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 1 590 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 2 865 cases by RATs verified as well as 179 imported cases and explains arrangement on permission for people undergoing quarantine to temporarily leave place of quarantine

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (July 31) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, July 31, the CHP was investigating 4 455 additional locally acquired cases tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including 1 590 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests (655 confirmed cases, 683 asymptomatic cases and 252 cases with pending case status) and 2 865 cases tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) verified in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 179 additional imported cases were reported, including 160 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests (12 confirmed cases, 95 asymptomatic cases and 53 cases with pending case status) and 19 cases tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 820 453 and 533 541 cases that have tested positive by nucleic acid tests and RATs respectively for the SARS-CoV-2 virus so far.

     The CHP is continuing with epidemiological investigations on the cases. Please refer to the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" ( for more information.

     Meanwhile, according to the analysis by the DH's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch, as of yesterday (July 30), Hong Kong had recorded a total of 19 cases, 3 118 cases and 3 777 cases carrying the sub-lineages BA.2.12, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 under the Omicron mutant strain respectively (including suspected cases), among which zero, 2 859 and 1 616 of them are local cases.

     In addition, as of 0.00am, July 31, a total of 9 290 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 9 210 and 77 deaths reported from the Hospital Authority and public mortuaries respectively as well as three deaths reported from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Medical Centre. Hong Kong has so far recorded a total of 9 503 death cases that have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

     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, the total number of confirmed cases was 355 230, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1 were 229 117, 31 and 234 325 respectively.
     A spokesman for the DH reiterated that the Government has established a mechanism all along, that in special circumstances, all inbound travellers undergoing quarantine may apply to temporarily leave the place of quarantine and visit a relative who is critically ill or attend a funeral of relative (for funeral arranged at funeral home or cemetery only) and permission may be granted by an authorised officer of the DH. From April 1 to yesterday (July 30), the DH had approved such requests from 441 cases.

     The spokesman for the CHP stressed that as the local situation of COVID-19 infection is still severe, the CHP strongly appeals to the community to continue to comply with social distancing measures, avoid going out and refrain from participating in unnecessary or crowded activities or 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 have 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.

Ends/Sunday, July 31, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:51