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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 1 349 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 6 683 cases by RATs as well as 228 imported cases
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 13) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, January 13, the CHP was investigating 8 032 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 1 349 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (517 confirmed cases, 281 asymptomatic cases and 551 cases with pending status) and 6 683 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 228 additional imported cases were reported, including 13 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (six confirmed cases and seven asymptomatic cases) and 215 cases that tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1 203 925 and 1 613 782 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 13, a total of 12 480 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 12 355 and 121 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 12 693 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 12), the total number of confirmed cases was 527 296, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1, 2022, were 415 888, 31 and 259 348 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/Friday, January 13, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:44
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Annex