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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 2 934 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 4 743 cases by RATs verified as well as 207 imported cases
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (August 24) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, August 24, the CHP was investigating 7 677 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 2 934 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (1 349 confirmed cases, 1 265 asymptomatic cases and 320 cases with pending status) and 4 743 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) verified in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 207 additional imported cases were reported, including 181 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (four confirmed cases, 124 asymptomatic cases and 53 cases with pending status) and 26 cases that tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 867 886 and 611 507 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 15 to 21 for verification testing of local cases, about 8.6 per cent and 33.6 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 24, a total of 9 421 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 9 340 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 9 634 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 23), the total number of confirmed cases was 375 266, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1 were 251 861, 31 and 237 613 respectively.

     The spokesman for the CHP stressed that the local situation of COVID-19 infection is 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/Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:50
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