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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

TST restaurant cluster grows

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Centre for Health Protection today expressed concern over a possible COVID-19 outbreak at Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui after 12 more cases were found related to the restaurant cluster.   The centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan told reporters at a press briefing this afternoon that it is investigating 24 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 18 are locally transmitted.   Among the local cases, 12 are linked to the restaurant including 10 of its staff and customers while two are their close contacts. Dr Chuang said: "So far, all the customers, except one, had lunch on February 19 and the clustering is quite obvious. We cannot exclude the possibility that the customers from other days may also be at risk. That is why we put all of them under a compulsory testing notice."   It is suspected that a cleaner at the restaurant is the source of infection.   "The possible index case is a cleaner of the restaurant. The earliest onset of symptoms was the onset of a cough on February 18 and he developed a fever in the afternoon of February 19.   "So, we expected that was the period he was most infectious and the Ct value was 18 on testing. So it is possible that he might be a superspreader."   Of the more than 20 preliminary positive cases, 11 are also related to the restaurant cluster.   The centre is studying the distribution of tables in the restaurant and tracing other customers. It urged people who visited the restaurant on February 19 to call 1823.   Additionally, more buildings have to be covered by compulsory testing notices as COVID-19 cases were reported.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.
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