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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 1 048 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 3 781 cases by RATs as well as 416 imported cases
     ​The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (November 3) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, November 3, the CHP was investigating 4 829 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 1 048 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (505 confirmed cases, 425 asymptomatic cases and 118 cases with pending status) and 3 781 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 416 additional imported cases were reported, including 382 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (58 confirmed cases, 285 asymptomatic cases and 39 cases with pending status) and 34 cases that tested positive by RATs. Among the additional imported cases, 243 of them involved samples at the airport, 123 of them involved samples during Day 1 to Day 3, and the remaining 50 involved samples during Day 4 to Day 7.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1 002 718 and 930 362 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 Annex and the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" (www.coronavirus.gov.hk) for more information.
     The CHP has been closely monitoring the situation of positive cases involving mutant strains by genetic analysis. As of 0.00am, November 3, the DH's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) had identified 204 cases of sub-lineage XBB, six of XBD, eight of BA.2.75.2, seven of BA.4.6, 11 of BF.7 and 25 of BQ.1.1 among imported cases in Hong Kong, while four cases of sub-lineage XBB, eight of XBD, one of BA.2.75.2 and 14 of BQ.1.1 have also been detected among local cases.

     Among the specimens received by the DH's PHLSB during October 25 to 31 for verification testing of local cases, about 0 per cent and 91.5 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, November 3, a total of 10 215 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 10 128 and 84 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 10 428 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 (November 2), the total number of confirmed cases was 436 371, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1 were 320 544, 31 and 244 342 respectively.

     The spokesman for the CHP said 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.

     The CHP appeals to the community to keep on maintaining personal hygiene and comply with social distancing measures in order to jointly contain the risk of virus transmission. The spokesman reminded members of the public that they can call various hotlines to make enquiries on COVID-19 (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html#hotline).
Ends/Thursday, November 3, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:58
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