Oral Covid drugs prescription relaxed as HK sees 4,884 cases

Health authorities relaxed the criteria for prescribing oral Covid drugs and stressed they have enough stock to deal with the rising demand as the city saw 4,884 new cases.

Among the new cases, 4,696 were transmitted locally, including 1,751 confirmed via PCR tests and 2,945 verified positive RAT results, Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection reported. She continued that the remaining 188 infections were imported cases.

Meanwhile, Hospital Authority's chief clinical effectiveness and technology management manager Gladys Kwan Wai-man said the authority has decided to relax the criteria for prescribing oral drugs to patients.

Patients aged below 60 or chronic disease patients who develop symptoms within five days following infection, regardless of their vaccination status, will be prescribed the drugs if there are no other unfitting clinical elements.

As for the 22-month-old baby girl mentioned yesterday (Thu), she is still in critical condition. She is treated in Eastern Hospital and is kept alive by the artificial heart-lung machine and cardiac agents, Kwan said.

When asked about visiting arrangements for returnees, Chuang said they would be sent to the hospital by point-to-point transportation as soon as possible after completing relevant immigration and quarantine procedures upon arrival.

The question was raised by reporters following the incident at boyband Mirror's concert, where two dancers were injured by a gigantic falling screen. The parents of one of the dancers, seriously injured, are now flying back to the city from Toronto, Canada.

The center was informed of 351 positive cases from 290 schools, including 302 students and 49 teachers and staffers. Four elderly homes and care centers for the disabled also reported nine new infections.

Kwan also reported five related deaths, including four men and one woman aged 55 to 88. One had received his third Covid jab, and two men aged 61 and 88 had lung cancer. The 55-year-old woman suspectedly fell from height and was pronounced dead in the emergency room. She later tested positive for Covid.

Public hospitals and treatment facilities are now housing 1,411 patients. Among them, 21 are in critical condition, 18 are in serious condition, and 10 are in hospital intensive care units. In the past 24 hours, 147 patients have recovered from Covid, and 136 of them have been discharged.