BA.4 or BA.5 cases mount up as the city counts 4,979 Covid cases

Health authorities observed a further rise in suspected BA.4 or BA.5 cases, as Hong Kong reported 4,979 new cases on Sunday.

Among the cases logged, 4,764 were locally transmitted, including 1,534 confirmed via PCR tests and 3,230 verified positive RAT test results. Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection also reported 215 imported cases.

Chuang said Omicron subvariants BA.4 or BA.5 are now taking up to 23.1 percent of the local cases, while BA.2.12.1 accounts for 7.3 percent. She said about 1 percent of the cases were previously infected, which may be re-positive cases.

The five-year-old girl in critical condition was still under intensive care at Tuen Mun Hospital. Her 11-year-old sister tested positive and was currently in the pediatric ward of Tuen Mun Hospital. She has been fully vaccinated and is in stable condition.

Health authorities said they have yet to confirm the specific Covid variant the girl was infected with.

Gladys Kwan Wai-man, Hospital Authority’s chief manager for clinical effectiveness and technology management, reported three new related deaths involving two men and one woman aged 80 to 89. The overall death tally of the fifth wave now stands at 9,352.

Public hospitals and treatment facilities are now housing 1,690 Covid patients. Among them, 31 are in critical condition, 22 are in serious condition, and 10 are in hospital intensive care units. In the past 24 hours, 133 patients have recovered from Covid, and 119 of them have been discharged.