8.5k local COVID-19 cases logged

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is looking into 8,500 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 1,775 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 6,725 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 719 imported cases were detected.   Furthermore, 12 residential care homes for the elderly and seven for disabled people logged 31 cases involving their residents and staff.   Meanwhile, there were 1,123 positive cases concerning 951 students and 172 staff filed by 679 schools. As a result, 12 classes from 12 schools were advised to suspend face-to-face lessons for seven days.   In addition to reporting that 13 patients passed away in public hospitals due to the coronavirus, the Hospital Authority registered 10 more critical patients, bringing the number in critical condition to 48.   At a press briefing this afternoon, the centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said an increasing number of cases - both local and imported - have been recorded recently.   The surge may be attributed to factors such as increased social activities, more inbound travellers and re-infection among senior citizens, she explained.   Under Secretary for Health Dr Libby Lee supplemented that social distancing measures will be maintained for the meantime and urged citizens to stay vigilant, particularly the elderly and the very young who are more vulnerable to infection.   Separately, due to a number of positive cases, 34 specified places are included in a compulsory testing notice. It also covers another two places in Ma On Shan and Tseung Kwan O where some sewage samples tested positive for the virus.   The ad-hoc mobile specimen collection station at Cheung Hang Estate in Tsing Yi will be open until Saturday.   As there were positive sewage test results with relatively high viral loads in several areas of Yau Tsim Mong, Tsuen Wan and Eastern districts, the Housing Department and the respective district offices will distribute COVID-19 rapid test kits to relevant residents as well as cleaning workers and property management staff working there.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government’s dedicated webpage.

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