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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

CE visits Contact Tracing Offices

Chief Executive Carrie Lam visited the Contact Tracing Offices in Kai Tak and Mong Kok today, the first day of the Lunar New Year, to get an update of contact-tracing of COVID-19 cases and to extend New Year greetings to the office staff.   Mrs Lam first visited the Contact Tracing Office at Kai Tak Community Hall which was set up in January last year and was briefed on its work since the outbreak of the fifth wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.   During that wave of the epidemic, the office tracked down the 200 customers related to the cluster from Moon Palace, a restaurant in Festival Walk, which stopped the further spread of the virus.   Mrs Lam thanked staff at the office for their hard work and expressed hope that the community can soon be back to normal after the pandemic is tackled.   The Chief Executive then inspected the Contact Tracing Office in Mong Kok, which was launched in January this year. Commissioner of Correctional Services Woo Ying-ming and Commissioner of Customs & Excise Louise Ho were also there to cheer on their colleagues and extended to them their festival greetings.   Noting that the Correctional Services Department gave its support as early as pandemic began, Mrs Lam thanked the department for providing masks and other supplies which were essential in the early stage of combatting the virus.   The two offices are manned by more than 400 staff members who are mainly deployed from the disciplinary services. They have so far assisted in tracing more than 31,000 contacts of the infection cases, thereby reducing the spread of the virus in the community.   Additionally, over 10,000 serving officers or retirees of the disciplinary services have received training, enabling the Government to deploy more manpower to assist in contact-tracing when needed.   Mrs Lam concluded the visit by expressing thanks to the people for their co-operation.   “I appeal to members of the public again to continue to support the Government's anti-epidemic efforts by staying home and reducing cross-family gatherings as far as possible during the Lunar New Year."
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