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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

Isolation discharge criteria revised

The Government announced that from tomorrow, the criteria for releasing COVID-19 patients from isolation will be updated and the discharge criteria will be tightened.   The revised discharge criteria for symptomatic patients includes no fever for at least three days, having significantly improved respiratory symptoms and significant improvement in lung infiltrates in chest imaging.   These patients also have to meet designated laboratory criteria. They need to have two clinical specimens of the same type that tested negative for nucleic acid of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) taken at least 24 hours apart.   For patients with stool specimen(s) that tested positive, the laboratory criteria are two negative stool specimens collected 24 hours apart before release from isolation.   There should also be 10 days that have passed since the onset of illness for these patients.   For patients who did not develop any COVID-19 compatible symptoms all along, the laboratory criteria are two clinical specimens of the same type that tested negative for nucleic acid of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR taken at least 24 hours apart.   Those whose stool specimen(s) tested positive, the laboratory criteria are two negative stool specimens collected 24 hours apart before release from isolation.   There should also be 10 days that have passed after the first positive RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 for these patients.   Patients fulfilling the discharge criteria will immediately be arranged by point-to-point transfer to designated isolation facilities to undergo 14-day isolation and health monitoring through closed-loop management.   The arrangement is to ensure they do not bring the virus into the community. The North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre is designated as the isolation facility.        The Department of Health will extend the isolation orders of patients who meet the discharge criteria pursuant to the power under the Prevention & Control of Disease Regulation until 14 days after discharge.
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