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CHP investigates locally acquired SARS-CoV-2 virus cases with 1 026 cases tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 3 503 cases by RATs as well as 124 imported cases
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 16) announced the latest epidemic situation of COVID-19. As of 0.00am, January 16, the CHP was investigating 4 529 additional locally acquired cases that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, comprising 1 026 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (404 confirmed cases, 200 asymptomatic cases and 422 cases with pending status) and 3 503 cases that tested positive by rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the past 24 hours.

     Separately, 124 additional imported cases were reported, including 11 cases that tested positive by nucleic acid tests (four confirmed cases and seven asymptomatic cases) and 113 cases that tested positive by RATs.

     Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1 207 573 and 1 628 797 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 16, a total of 12 650 death cases that had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the fifth wave (since December 31, 2021) were recorded, with 12 525 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 12 863 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 15), the total number of confirmed cases was 528 901, while the figures for asymptomatic cases, re-positive cases and pending/unknown cases recorded since January 1, 2022, were 416 960, 31 and 260 644 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/Monday, January 16, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:40
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Annex