HK adds 674 Covid cases, outbreak clusters continue at schools and bars

Hong Kong reported 674 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, as 81 schools saw 90 cases.

Among the new cases, 335 were confirmed by PCR tests, and 342 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 exceeded 1.204 million.

Chuang also added 73 imported cases, 38 detected at the airport, 28 at quarantine hotels, and seven after their seventh day of isolation.

The authorities received 90 positive reports from schools on Thursday, involving 68 students and 22 teachers from 81 schools. Chuang said nine schools had two or more positive cases in the past seven days, of which four had more than one case in a class.

Kowloon Tong Funful English Primary School saw two more students in classes earlier hit by the pandemic test positive, taking the number of cases at the school to 17.

Meanwhile, four teachers and students in class 6A of Po Leung Kuk Lam Man Chan English Primary School in To Kwa Wan were infected with the coronavirus. The class with 25 students was recommended to suspend for a week.

Hong Kong saw eight cases carrying the BA.2.12.1 subvariant today. So far, the city has recorded 112 BA.2.12.1 cases, of which 62 were local.

As for the subvariant BA.4 and BA.5, a 46-year-old woman working part-time at a quarantined hotel Regala Skycity Hotel was suspected of carrying BA.4 or BA.5. The city has seen 23 imported BA.4 cases, 35 imported BA.5 cases, and one local BA.5 case.

Chuang said according to overseas reports, although BA.4 and BA.5 are more transmissible, it is unlikely to cause more severe illnesses or deaths for the time being. The chance of re-infection for the two subvariant also did not differ much from other mutated strains.

LINQ on Pottinger Street added four infections, taking the cluster to 99 cases in total, while Shuffle added 13, amounting to 104 guests and six staffers.

Some infected patients visited The Iron Fairies, LINQ, and Shuffle. Genetic analysis also found comparable results in the three bars, suggesting transmissions in that area.

Hospital Authority's Chief Manager of Quality and Standards Lau Ka-hin reported one more death today, pushing the city's death tally stays at 9,177. The deceased was an 89-year-old man who passed away on June 7.

Public hospitals and treatment facilities are now housing 375 patients. Thirteen are in critical condition, six are in serious condition, and three are in hospital intensive care units.