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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

8 COVID-19 cases recorded

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) today said it is investigating eight additional COVID-19 cases, of which two are locally transmitted with unknown sources of infection.   There are about 10 preliminary positive cases including one with an unknown infection source.   The unlinked cases live in Tuen Mun and the CHP has not ruled out silent transmission of the virus in the district.   One of the confirmed cases is a 41-year-old man who lives in King Fu House at Shan King Estate and works in Central. The other case involves a 71-year-old housewife residing in Oi Fai House at Yau Oi Estate who regularly exercised with friends and visited some Chinese restaurants in the district.   The preliminary positive case is a 70-year-old woman who also lives in Oi Fai House. She usually stays at home, but after a fall yesterday she was sent to Tuen Mun Hospital where she was screened for COVID-19. The patient was asymptomatic.   The centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said: “We cannot exclude (the possibility) that there is some silent transmission in the Tuen Mun area. We cannot find an exact linkage between these three cases yet.   “For (the patients of) the two cases who stayed in the same building ie Oi Fai House, one of them did not go out. So it is possible that a family member or a friend who visited her during the incubation period may be (infected), and we are tracing - if they are confirmed (COVID-19 positive) - whether there is any common exposure between, for example, one case or another.   “Possible areas may be nearby malls or markets and so on, but at the present moment we cannot find an exact place they all visited.” The Hospital Authority added that seven female patients who had stayed in the same cubicle with the preliminary positive case were classified as close contacts and are required to be quarantined for 14 days. One of the patients, an 87-year-old woman, passed away this morning due to her underlying disease.   The hospital had arranged viral tests for the seven patients and all the results were negative.    The Government announced that Oi Fai House (Block 3) and High Block, King Fu House where the confirmed cases live are covered by compulsory testing notices.   Mobile specimen collection stations will be set up at the covered playground outside King Fu House and the open space outside Oi Fai House tomorrow for residents, workers and visitors subject to compulsory testing.   The six imported cases arrived from Egypt, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.    For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.
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