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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 2 525 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 5 727 cases by RATs verified as well as 236 imported cases
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (August 29) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, August 29, the CHP was investigating 8 252 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 2 525 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (1 241 confirmed cases, 1 061 asymptomatic cases and 223 cases with pending status) and 5 727 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) verified in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 236 additional imported cases were reported, including 210 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (nine confirmed cases, 162 asymptomatic cases and 39 cases with pending status) and 26 cases that tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 881 327 and 641 133 cases that have tested positive by nucleic acid tests and RATs respectively for the SARS-CoV-2 virus so far.
     The CHP has all along arranged nucleic acid test for verification of result for cases reported via the "Declaration System for individuals tested positive for COVID-19 using Rapid Antigen Test" and found the proportion of negative results amongst these cases is low and within expectation. In view of the sharp increase in the number of locally acquired COVID-19 cases recently, after taking into consideration the testing capacity locally, starting today, the CHP will only verify cases reported via the System by sampling with nucleic acid test. Relevant test results will be reflected in the caseload announced from Wednesday (August 31) onwards.

     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 20 to 26 for verification testing of local cases, about 7.7 per cent and 46.5 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 29, a total of 9 455 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 9 374 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 9 668 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 28), the total number of confirmed cases was 381 717, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1 were 258 449, 31 and 238 395 respectively.

     The spokesman for the CHP stressed that the local situation of COVID-19 infection is severe with the number of cases tested positive growing at an increased pace. The CHP strongly appeals to the community to strictly comply with social distancing measures and refrain from participating in unnecessary or crowded activities or mass gatherings. This would lower the risk of infection and prevent the virus from spreading in the community.

     The 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, children, 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/Monday, August 29, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:41
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