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The fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic has lasted for some time. To our great relief, the number of local confirmed cases has remained at low levels in recent days. The Government's multi-pronged strategy of continuously enhancing our anti-epidemic measures and preventing the importation of cases has proven effective.   Apart from keeping social distancing measures in place and mounting an extensive promotion of testing, we have specifically strengthened the manpower in contact tracing as this is a particularly crucial measure in cutting the chains of viral transmission.   The Department of Health's Contact Tracing Office has redoubled its efforts in speeding up the process of identifying close contacts. Their sterling efforts in contact tracing in the gym cluster last month have significantly helped in suppressing rebounds within a number of days. This was a remarkable success.   For this, I must thank all those who have helped, including some 200 colleagues seconded f

16 COVID-19 cases recorded

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 16 additional COVID-19 cases, one of which is locally infected with an unknown source.   The centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan told reporters this afternoon that the case involves a 32-year-old man who lives in Wah Tong House in Yau Tong Estate.    Dr Chuang explained that the man visited United Christian Hospital from March 23 to 26 because his wife delivered a baby there on March 24.   “The patient of the case did not go into any ward or any places in United Christian Hospital. He just waited outside in the corridor and wore a mask. And for the other days, he just came to pick his wife up to bring back home and also brought some things to his wife.   “He didn’t actually go into the wards with patients, so he did not have any contact with other patients. That’s why we have not asked the hospital to do any mandatory testing.”   The patient had also bought groceries from Lei Yue Mun Market from March 28 to April 3, Dr Chuang added.   “All the staff in the stores have to be tested, and the customers who cumulatively have stayed in the Lei Yue Mun Market for two hours since March 24 are advised to be tested. Actually, we will issue a compulsory testing notice for them.”   The remaining 15 cases are imported ones from the Philippines, Pakistan and India.   The centre pointed out that two consecutive passenger flights operated by TATA SIA Airlines (Vistara) from Delhi, India, to Hong Kong on March 10 and April 4 had three and four passengers confirmed to have COVID-19 through specimens collected at the Department of Health's Temporary Specimen Collection Centre.   The department has thus invoked the Prevention & Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances & Travellers) Regulation to prohibit landing of passenger flights of Vistara from Delhi in Hong Kong from April 6 to 19.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.
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