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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 2 192 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 4 218 cases by RATs verified as well as 244 imported cases
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (August 23) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, August 23, the CHP was investigating 6 410 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 2 192 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (1 075 confirmed cases, 917 asymptomatic cases and 200 cases with pending status) and 4 218 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) verified in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 244 additional imported cases were reported, including 220 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (14 confirmed cases, 148 asymptomatic cases and 58 cases with pending status) and 24 cases that tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 864 771 and 606 738 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 of the cases. Please refer to the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" (www.coronavirus.gov.hk) for more information.

     Among the specimens received by the DH's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch during August 14 to 20 for verification testing of local cases, about 8.5 per cent and 31.4 per cent of them (seven-day moving average) are related to the sub-lineages BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 (including suspected cases) of the Omicron mutant strain respectively.

     In addition, as of 0.00am, August 23, a total of 9 407 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 9 326 and 78 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 9 620 death cases that 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 (August 22), the total number of confirmed cases was 374 130, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1 were 250 722, 31 and 237 476 respectively.

     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.

     ‚ÄčThe spokesman reminded the public 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/Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:49
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