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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

Suspected adverse case explained

An expert committee today said a suspected serious adverse event following COVID-19 vaccination did not have a direct link with the jab.   The Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation made the statement after it convened an urgent meeting to assess the case.   The 63-year-old man, who received a dose of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on February 26, suffered from acute shortness of breath with cough and attended Queen Elizabeth Hospital by himself in the early morning of February 28. His condition worsened rapidly and he succumbed that morning.   According to the Hospital Authority, the patient was a heavy smoker, had a history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity and suspected ischemic heart disease.   The preliminary autopsy information revealed that he had serious coronary heart disease which led to acute myocardial infarction and pulmonary oedema, resulting in respiratory failure before passing away.   Having considered the medical conditions and history of the patient as well as relevant clinical data, available information related to the vaccine and preliminary autopsy findings, the expert committee conducted a causality assessment based on the World Health Organization’s algorithm.   It considered that the patient’s death was not directly associated with the COVID-19 vaccination but noted that a full autopsy report would be required to conclude the assessment.   The Department of Health emphasised that based on available data, there is no particular safety concern detected from the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.   According to the product information of the vaccine, patients with uncontrolled severe chronic diseases should not receive the jab, the department said.   Patients with severe chronic illness should use the vaccine with caution and if necessary, delay vaccination until after a doctor’s assessment, it added.
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