New Covid-19 infections exceeded 2,000 yesterday - the highest in nearly three months - as public hospitals eased fears over beds for patients amid concerns that cases may go even higher next month.
The Centre for Health Protection's principal medical and health officer, Albert Au Ka-wing, said 1,849 of the infections were locally transmitted and 155 imported.
Au said recent daily caseloads of 1,500 to 2,000 showed a number of transmission chains exist out there.
Twenty-five of the cases involved the Omicron BA.2.12.1 subvariant, including 13 people who lived in Sha Tin, Sha Kok Mei, Tuen Mun and Sham Shui Po and got their infections from unknown sources.
Another 15 cases involving the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were also seen, including four untraceable local cases and a housekeeping manager at a quarantine hotel who lives at Fu Tai Estate, Tuen Mun.
Au said there are more untraceable BA.4 and BA.5 local infections of late, proof of silent transmission chains.
Schools saw 217 cases at 186 campuses, bringing suspensions for three classes that saw nine cases - 4C of Tin Shui Wai Government Secondary School, a morning class of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Kindergarten and the last at Hop Yat Church Chan Pak Wang Memorial Kindergarten.
Three more care homes saw five new cases: New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association in Sha Tin, SAGE Tung Lin Kok Yuen Home for the Elderly in Sai Kung, and SAGE Guan Quan Care and Attention for The Elderly Home in Southern district.
In easing fears over beds, the Hospital Authority's Michael Wong Lap-gate, said only 60 to 80 patients among the 1,000 to 2,000 daily cases need hospitalization. "We can mobilize 500 Covid
beds immediately and 2,000 within 48 hours."
However, the Home Affairs Department said the "StayHomeSafe" hotline providing support and assistance to those under home quarantine will now operate just between 7am to 11pm each day.
Macau saw 49 new cases, taking its tally to 533 cases in its current wave, as a third round of PCR tests for its 652,000 residents ended Tuesday. All Macanese need to undergo another two rapid tests today.