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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 2 014 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 6 139 cases by RATs as well as 657 imported cases
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (November 30) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, November 30, the CHP was investigating 8 153 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 2 014 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (1 042 confirmed cases, 804 asymptomatic cases and 168 cases with pending status) and 6 139 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 657 additional imported cases were reported, comprising 541 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (94 confirmed cases, 425 asymptomatic cases and 22 cases with pending status) and 116 cases that tested positive by RATs. Among the additional imported cases, 384 of them involved samples at the airport, 212 involved samples during Day 1 to Day 3, and the remaining 61 involved samples during Day 4 to Day 7.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1 053 254 and 1 064 991 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.

     Separately, passengers are required to continue to undergo the additional rapid nucleic acid test under the special COVID-19 testing arrangement when departing via land boundary control points or the Hong Kong International Airport for the Mainland or Macao to support the nation's anti-epidemic efforts. Starting from December 3, the sampling method for that will be changed to combined nasal and throat swabs (currently nasopharyngeal swabs).
     The CHP has been closely monitoring the situation of positive cases involving mutant strains by genetic analysis. As of 0.00am, November 30, the DH's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) had identified 224 cases of sub-lineage XBB, six of XBD, eight of BA.2.75.2, seven of BA.4.6, 13 of BF.7 and 35 of BQ.1.1 among imported cases in Hong Kong, while 94 cases of sub-lineage XBB, 17 of XBD, one of BA.2.75.2, three of BF.7 and 108 of BQ.1.1 have also been detected among local cases.

     Among the specimens received by the DH's PHLSB during November 21 to 27 for verification testing of local cases, 0 per cent and about 73.4 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, November 30, a total of 10 534 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 10 442 and 88 deaths reported from the Hospital Authority and public mortuaries respectively as well as four deaths reported from private hospitals. Hong Kong has so far recorded a total of 10 747 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) that were changed to confirmed, asymptomatic or re-positive cases. As of yesterday (November 29), the total number of confirmed cases was 458 309, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1 were 345 787, 31 and 246 572 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 complying 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/Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:10
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