342 COVID-19 cases reported

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 342 additional COVID-19 cases which are all locally infected.   It added that 1,921 cases have been reported in the past 14 days and more than 320 of them have unknown sources of infection.   Director of Health Dr Ronald Lam told a press briefing this afternoon that it was critically important to contain the virus.   “One case can spread to more than one person, representing more than one transmission chain. So the minimum (number of transmission chains) is over 320. So this is a very widespread and severe situation in terms of the spread in the community.   “It is essential and critically important that we continue to maintain the containment policy, especially using the most effective tools of contact tracing, quarantine and sending those detected cases for treatment in hospital.”   Among the epidemic measures in place are the enhancement of the testing capacities to identify infection cases, the tightening of social distancing measures and compulsory testing for residents of buildings with registered COVID-19 cases.   “With such a combination of measures, coupled with compulsory or voluntary testing where necessary for areas which tested positive under the sewage surveillance system, we hope that we could at least delay the transmission chains.   “In this connection, we can buy more time for the community to boost up the vaccination coverage and protect our public health system from collapse in terms of the isolation beds provision.”   Meanwhile, arrangements have been made to evacuate the residents of units 06 on all floors of Hing Tai House, Tai Hing Estate in Tuen Mun to stop the potential risk of the virus spreading further in the building block.   The Government tonight made restriction-testing declarations to cover Mei Sau House, Mei King House and Mei Chi House of Mei Tin Estate in Sha Tin as well as Leung Kit House and Leung Wai House of Leung King Estate in Tuen Mun, requiring people in the restricted areas to undergo compulsory testing.   In light of the positive sewage test results in Kowloon City, Tai Po, Wan Chai and Central & Western District, the Home Affairs Department distributed rapid test kits to households, cleansing workers and property management staff living and working in these districts.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.

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