HK sees 9,901 Covid cases, pushes vaccination for children

Health authorities again urged parents not to hesitate and vaccinate their kids against Covid as soon as possible after counting 9,901 new infections on Friday.

Among the new cases, 9,714 were transmitted locally, including 2,818 confirmed via PCR and 6,896 verified positive RAT results.

The Centre for Health Protection's Chuang Shuk-kwan also reported 187 imported cases from 41 countries – 70 detected at the airport, 57 in quarantine hotels and isolation facilities, and 60 in local communities.

Six countries – the U.K., Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, the U.S., and India – each logged more than 10 infections.

Hospital Authority's chief manager for quality and standards Lau Ka-hin added eight deaths, involving seven men and a woman aged 57 to 92. Three patients were twice-jabbed but had yet to receive a booster, and one was unvaccinated.

The death tally of the fifth wave of the pandemic now stands at 9,496.

Lau urged parents not to hesitate anymore and to vaccinate the kids as soon as possible after reporting that a 15-month-old baby girl just saw her condition toned down from critical to serious.

Hospital services would also be affected, Lau warned, if the number of young children increases and adult wards has to admit these patients.

He appealed to the elderly to seek medical attention after contracting Covid as well, given that one of the deceased patients seen today – an 82-year-old man – was only found positive after he fell unconscious at home and was rushed to hospital.

The positive PCR test result for the deceased patient returned with a CT value of 19.5, indicating a high viral load.

When asked about arrangements to lower the vaccine pass age limit to five, Chuang said toddlers who don't have a smartphone can present a paper form instead.

She added bout 60.3 percent of the cases involved the BA.4 or BA.5 Omicron subvariants.

Four elderly homes saw 12 residents and three workers infected with Covid, and the CHP was informed of 337 positive cases from schools throughout the city.

Public hospitals and treatment facilities are now housing 2,667 Covid patients. Among them, 48 are in critical condition, 54 are in serious condition, and 13 are in hospital intensive care units. As of Friday, 302 patients have recovered from Covid, and 271 patients have been discharged.