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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 2 293 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 13 048 cases by RATs as well as 509 imported cases
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 7) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, January 7, the CHP was investigating 15 341 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 2 293 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (1 018 confirmed cases, 577 asymptomatic cases and 698 cases with pending status) and 13 048 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 509 additional imported cases were reported, including 33 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (13 confirmed cases and 20 asymptomatic cases) and 476 cases that tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1 192 858 and 1 562 969 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 7, a total of 12 063 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 11 947 and 112 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 12 276 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 6), the total number of confirmed cases was 522 142, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1, 2022, were 411 677, 31 and 256 682 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/Saturday, January 7, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:15
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Annex