City counts 5,594 Covid cases, including toddler fighting for life with water on the brain

Hong Kong reported 5,594 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, including a two-year-old boy who has received only a single vaccination and is now fighting for his life after he developed a severe brain condition.

Among the new infections, 5,459 were transmitted locally, including 1,348 confirmed via PCR tests and 4,111 verified positive RAT results.

The Centre for Health Protection's Chuang Shuk-kwan also counted 135 imported cases from 38 countries and regions – 66 detected at the airport, 26 in quarantine hotels and facilities, and 43 in community testing centers.

Five countries' arrivals – the U.K., the Philippines, Thailand, the U.S., and Indonesia – reported more than 10 infections.

On the other hand, Hospital Authority's chief manager medical grade Gladys Kwan Wai-man reported seven deaths, involving four men and three women aged 43 to 92. Six of the deceased patients had yet to receive the booster jab.

The deaths of the fifth wave now stand at 9,695.

She spoke of one of the latest critical cases seen by authorities where a two-year-old boy is fighting for his life. The boy received his first Covid shot on August 30 and had a fever last Sunday (Sep 18). He tested positive for Covid on Monday and developed symptoms like coughing and a runny nose.

His parents took him to the authorities designated Covid-19 clinic, and he was later transferred to a hospital emergency room; by then, his condition had deteriorated, and the boy suffered muscle twitching. He is now staying in the children's clinical intensive care unit with drugs and machines keeping his vital signs steady.

The CT scan showed the boy suffers from hydrocephalus, where excessive fluid accumulates in the skull, suspectedly caused by a brain condition called acute necrotizing encephalopathy.

Kwan then said more than 110,000 children under 11 have been infected with Covid since early this year, and nine have passed away. She called on parents to vaccinate their kids as soon as possible.

Six elderly homes and four care centers for the disabled were hit by Covid and saw 12 residents in total contract the coronavirus. The CHP has ordered 55 other residents to undergo quarantine.

The CHP was also informed of 1,007 positive cases by 589 schools today, involving 878 students and 129 teachers and staff members.

Public facilities are now housing 2,500 Covid patients. Among them, 58 are in critical condition, 20 are staying in intensive care units, and 49 are in serious condition. Currently, 366 patients have recovered from Covid, and 331 have been discharged.