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Over 3.1k virus cases identified

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 3,172 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 449 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 2,723 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 111 imported cases were detected.   Furthermore, seven residential care homes for the elderly and five for disabled people logged 13 cases involving their residents.   The Hospital Authority reported that 20 patients passed away in public hospitals. According to a preliminary analysis, the cause of death for nine patients was related to COVID-19, while that of the remaining 11 patients was unrelated.   It also registered eight more critical cases, bringing the number of patients in critical condition to 93.   Separately, to align with the Government’s cancellation of issuing isolation orders from tomorrow, the authority will, starting from the same day, announce at 8.30am and 1pm the information of general out-patient clinics (GOPC) quota reserved for COVID-19

3 restricted areas set

The Government made restriction-testing declarations today to require people within the specified restricted areas in Tin Shui Wai, Jordan and Sham Shui Po to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing for COVID-19 from 7pm.   The restricted areas include 23-27 Cheong Lok Street and its vicinity in Jordan, 17 buildings in Ki Lung Street, Nam Cheong Street, Tai Nan Street and Pei Ho Street in Sham Shui Po as well as Heng Lok House, Tin Heng Estate, Tin Shui Wai.   The Government discovered that the sewage discharged from those buildings in Sham Shui Po tested positive in tests conducted earlier in the area. It is suspected that there are asymptomatic patients in the buildings.   It had earlier issued compulsory testing notices in respect of Heng Lok House. However, outbreaks in the building remained severe.   After risk assessment, the Government believes it is necessary to issue restriction-testing declarations for the restricted areas to break the transmission chains in those districts.   The Government will set up temporary specimen collection stations at the restricted areas and request people subject to compulsory testing in Jordan to get tested before midnight. People within restricted areas in Tin Shui Wai and Sham Shui Po have to get tested before 2am.   They will be arranged to undergo a nucleic acid test at specimen collection stations where staff will collect samples through combined nasal and throat swabs.   The Government will arrange door-to-door specimen collection for people with impaired mobility and seniors, or arrange for them to self-collect and submit the deep throat saliva specimens.   It aims to finish these exercises by around 7.30am tomorrow.   Those who have undergone testing from January 31 to February 2 and can provide the SMS notification or related certification containing the test results are not required to be tested again. But they have to stay in their premises until all people in the area have been tested and the test results are mostly ascertained.   According to the compulsory testing notice issued today, those who had been at these buildings for more than two hours from January 20 to February 2, even if they were not present in the restricted areas when the declaration took effect, must undergo compulsory testing by February 4.   The Government has prepared simple food and basic cleaning tools for the residents restricted by the declaration. The Home Affairs Department has set up a hotline 2835 1473 for these residents to make enquiries and seek assistance as well as a dedicated hotline 3755 6816 for ethnic minorities. The Social Welfare Department will also assist those affected.  
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