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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 3 554 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 19 481 cases by RATs as well as 326 imported cases
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 1) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, January 1, the CHP was investigating 23 035 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 3 554 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (1 499 confirmed cases, 1 002 asymptomatic cases and 1 053 cases with pending status) and 19 481 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 326 additional imported cases were reported, including 128 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (31 confirmed cases, 60 asymptomatic cases and 37 cases with pending status) and 198 cases that tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1 176 351 and 1 472 643 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. The accumulative figures of cases identified by the DH's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) as well as the proportion of sub-lineage and BA.4/BA.5 (including suspected cases) of the Omicron mutant strain among the specimens received by the DH's PHLSB for verification testing of local cases are listed in the Annex.
     
     In addition, as of 0.00am, January 1, a total of 11 656 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 11 546 and 106 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 11 869 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 (December 31, 2022), the total number of confirmed cases was 513 642, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1, 2022 were 405 533, 31 and 253 463 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.

     ‚ÄčThe CHP appeals to the community to keep on maintaining personal hygiene and comply with relevant mask requirements 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/Sunday, January 1, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:16
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Annex