Hong Kong reports 37,529 new COVID-19 cases, 150 deaths | Inquirer News
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Hong Kong reports 37,529 new COVID-19 cases, 150 deaths

/ 03:48 PM March 06, 2022
HK reports 37,529 new COVID cases, 150 deaths

A man takes a picture of a Star Ferry crossing Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on March 4, 2022. AFP

HONG KONG – Hong Kong logged 37,529 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, a drop from over 52,000 cases reported on Friday, as health officials said the epidemic situation in the city is still serious.

The new cases comprised 37,523 local infections and six imported cases, Albert Au Ka-wing, principal medical and health officer of the Center for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, said in a press briefing.

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Despite the lower daily count, Au said the situation in Hong Kong is still severe as positive results from rapid antigen tests have not been taken into account in Saturday’s number.

“Around 5 percent of specimens collected from community testing centers returned positive outcomes. I’d say the situation is still very serious and we have to observe for at least one week,”, Au said.

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Outbreaks were seen in 60 more residential care homes, involving 428 residents and 200 employees. Since the fifth wave of the epidemic began on Dec 31, 589 elderly residential care homes and 192 homes for the disabled have reported outbreaks, accounting for 73 percent and 64 percent, respectively, of the total number of such homes in Hong Kong.

Larry Lee Lap-yip, chief manager (integrated clinical services) of the Hospital Authority, said in the same briefing that 150 patients aged between 32 and 105 passed away in the last 24 hours.

Among the 150 patients, 137 were aged 65 or above and 109 had no vaccination record.

Due to lagging in statistics, 70 deaths between Feb 24 and March 3 have not been reported earlier, Lee added.

A total of 1,561 patients have died in the fifth wave, including 909 patients from residential care homes, accounting for around 58.2 percent of the total number of deaths.

Analysis of 1,341 deaths showed that 91.3 percent of the patients had no vaccination record, according to Au.

Among all deaths recorded in the fifth wave, the death rate for COVID-19 patients with no vaccination record was as high as 1.25 percent, compared with just 0.04 percent for those who had completed the course of vaccination, Au said. That means the death rate of those unvaccinated is 31 times those who had been jabbed.

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He said the government has prioritized vaccinating elderly people in residential care homes, adding that five more vaccination teams have been set up in the past two weeks to expedite such work.

Also on Saturday, Hongkong Post announced that it will stop providing local courier post and local parcel services from Monday in light of the latest epidemic situation.

It said that it will focus resources to maintain essential postal services under the severe epidemic situation and apologized to the public for any inconvenience caused.

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