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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 3 040 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 15 218 cases by RATs as well as 164 imported cases
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 5) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, January 5, the CHP was investigating 18 258 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 3 040 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (1 349 confirmed cases, 833 asymptomatic cases and 858 cases with pending status) and 15 218 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 164 additional imported cases were reported, including 56 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (17 confirmed cases, 36 asymptomatic cases and three cases with pending status) and 108 cases that tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1 187 831 and 1 532 424 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 5, a total of 11 936 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 11 826 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 12 149 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 (January 4), the total number of confirmed cases was 519 319, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1, 2022, were 409 678, 31 and 255 707 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/Thursday, January 5, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:30
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Annex