HK adds 558 Covid cases as more school clusters emerge

Hong Kong reported 558 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday as the outbreak clusters continue to hit schools and bars.

Among the new cases, 301 were confirmed by PCR tests, and 257 were self-declared positive RAT tests successfully confirmed by health authorities. The Centre for Health Protection's Chuang Shuk-kwan reported that the official caseload of the fifth wave now stands at 1,203,597.

Chuang also added 63 imported cases, 16 detected at the airport, 38 at quarantine hotels, and nine on their seventh day of isolation.

A total of 94 cases were reported by 87 schools, involving 61 students and 33 teachers and school staffers.

Two of the cases were from Kowloon Tong Funful English Primary School, and one was a staffer of the Kiangsu-Chekiang Primary School International Section in North Point.

Two teachers and a worker at Singapore International School (HK) tested positive for Covid. So far, no other students or teaching staff were infected, and the school will be closed for one to two days for thorough disinfection.

On the other hand, LINQ on Pottinger Street added two infections, amounting to 95 cases in total. The virus samples collected there were found to be similar to that identified in another bar cluster in the area -- The Iron Fairies.

Health authorities believed the two clusters were linked after finding that three patients had visited The Iron Fairies on May 21 and LINQ on May 28.

Hong Kong saw 23 imported cases carrying the Omicron subvariant BA.4 and 35 imported cases, and one suspected local case involving the subvariant BA.5. As for the BA.2.12.1 subvariant, 111 imported infections and 51 local infections were reported, including 14 local patients added today.

One of them was a 52-year-old woman living at Lu Shan Mansion, Kao Shan Terrace in Taikoo Shing. Three were family members all living at Ping Hay House, Tai Ping Estate in Sheung Shui, while another involved a 46-year-old woman from Tower 6 of Residence Oasis Tseung Kwan O.

Two elderly home staffers and a care center worker caught Covid as well.

Hospital Authority's chief manager for patient safety and risk management, Sara Ho Yuen-ha, didn't report any new death today, meaning that the city's death tally stays at 9,176.

Public hospitals and treatment facilities are now housing 370 patients. Twelve of them are in critical condition, five are in serious condition, and four are in hospital intensive care units. In the past 24 hours, 52 patients have recovered from Covid, and 46 of them have been discharged.