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270 COVID-19 cases recorded

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 270 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 116 were detected by nucleic acid tests and 154 were identified via rapid antigen tests.   Among the new cases, 31 are imported while the rest are locally infected.   Since the onset of the fifth wave of the epidemic, 1,199,227 people have contracted the virus. One more patient passed away, bringing the total number of deaths in the fifth wave to 9,163.   Moreover, the Hospital Authority announced that a staff member of Haven of Hope Hospital’s catering department tested positive through a rapid antigen test on Thursday. Contact tracing revealed that four more employees from the same department who had dined or stayed in the same accommodation as the patient had also caught COVID-19. These four staff and seven other staff who have been identified as close contacts will be quarantined.   As a precautionary measure, the hospital’s catering department has temporarily suspended o

Sophia Chan attends WHO meeting

Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan today attended the online meeting of the 72nd session of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for the Western Pacific.        The meeting focused on the anti-epidemic work by members of the regional committee as well as other health-related issues including primary healthcare, use of traditional and complementary medicine and the health of future generations.        Prof Chan said that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has implemented various anti-epidemic measures including border controls, social distancing, testing, contact tracing, quarantine and a community-wide vaccination programme.   “The Hong Kong SAR Government has responded promptly and successfully to four waves of the epidemic so far with the above measures. It is encouraging to see that Hong Kong has no local cases with unknown sources of infection for most of the days in the past few months and has basically achieved zero infection.   “As the epidemic situation in Hong Kong continues to remain stable, we have adopted a new direction in fighting the epidemic since April by adjusting various anti-epidemic measures with a vaccine bubble as the basis with a view to restoring our city to normality in a gradual and orderly manner."   Noting that Hong Kong will stay vigilant to cope with next wave of the epidemic, Prof Chan said the Hong Kong SAR Government will consolidate the experience gained, strengthen its current capacities and map out targeted and refined strategies.   Looking forward, the health chief said that it is important for Hong Kong and the international community to continue to press ahead with large-scale vaccination for public, particularly the elderly, to build an immune barrier for the community.   “On the other hand, as Hong Kong is gradually returning to normality, we would put greater focus and efforts on other priority areas in the health portfolio including strengthening primary healthcare and developing Chinese medicine,” she added.
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