Health authorities back oral drugs' efficacy as HK sees 9,495 Covid cases

Health authorities reported 9,495 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday and defended the efficacy of the oral Covid drugs as the public pointed out that patients prescribed the drugs kept dying.

Among the new infections, 9,267 were locally transmitted, including 3,054 confirmed via PCR tests and 6,213 verified positive RAT results.

Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection also logged 228 imported cases – 110 identified at the airport, 59 in quarantine hotels and community isolation centers, and 59 patients found infected after completing the three-day hotel quarantine.

The imported cases came from 51 countries. Seven of the countries each recorded 10 or more infections, including the U.K., the U.S., Thailand, India, the Philippines, France, and Vietnam.

Hospital Authority's chief manager for quality and standards Lau Ka-hin reported nine deaths, involving five men and four women aged 34 to 97. The death tally of the fifth wave now stands at 9,477.

Seven deceased patients were double jabbed but had yet to receive the booster, while the remaining two were unvaccinated.

On another note, Lau said over 1,000 patients were prescribed oral drugs as of Tuesday, and the deaths reported only comprised a minority of the patient population.

He urged the public to refer to scientific evidence and facts on oral drugs' efficiency and stressed the drugs can help reduce the chances of developing severe illnesses and lower the risk of death.

Lau also thanked the cooperation of private hospitals that have been offering more beds and echoed authorities' recent call for help. He noted the increasing hospitalization rate among private hospitals can alleviate the pressure mounted on the public ones.

Lau continued about 2,000 patients have been seeking medical attention at the designated Covid clinics via physical visits or video meetings every day, and the HA may grant more quotas to citizens.

Meanwhile, Chuang highlighted the daily caseload may surpass 10,000 very soon.

Eight elderly homes and care centers for the disabled were hit by Covid. The CHP was informed of 131 cases from 82 schools today, involving 97 students and 34 teachers and staffers.

Public hospitals and treatment facilities are now housing 2,598 Covid patients. Among them, 53 are in critical condition, 41 are in serious condition, and 15 are in hospital intensive care. As of Wednesday, 332 patients have recovered from Covid, and 284 have been discharged.