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Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

Hospital visitors required to test negative within 48 hours as city sees 4,886 new Covid cases

Hospital visitors required to test negative within 48 hours as city sees 4,886 new Covid cases

Hong Kong reported 4,886 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday as health authorities require hospital visitors to provide proof of a negative nucleic acid test result within 48 hours starting in August.
Of the new cases, 4,638 were locally transmitted, and the other 248 were imported cases, including 102 detected at the airport from 44 countries, Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre of Health Protection said.

The other 125 imported cases were identified at quarantine hotels, and 21 were found in local communities after the patients completed the seven-day isolation, she continued.

The authority reported five related deaths, including three men and two women aged 56 to 100. The death tally of the fifth wave now stands at 9,280.

Hospital Authority announced that starting August 1, hospital visitors must provide proof of a negative nucleic acid test result within 48 hours.

Hospital Authority chief manager Gladys Kwan Wai-man said visitors can choose to get tested by a recognized institution, but only if they are not self-tested and are tested with a combined nasal and throat swab. People in need can be tested at a community testing center for free.

As for the visiting arrangement for critical and terminal patients, the current requirement remains unchanged. Visitors can provide negative results of the nucleic acid test within 48 hours or negative results of the rapid test within 24 hours. They may return the nucleic acid test results within two days after the visit if they cannot meet the testing requirements.

Government Covid advisor Lau Yu-lung said a 22-month-old girl was earlier confirmed. She lived on the islands and was taken to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital by helicopter after her family found her with fever and convulsions.

Lau said the girl had confusion and was suspected of having brain lesions. Her CT value was high, but the strain she was infected with remains unknown for the time being. Experts will later conduct virus analysis.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection was informed of 409 positive cases from 315 schools involving 330 students and 79 teachers and staffers.

Seven schools had classes to be suspended for a week after students and teachers caught Covid.

They included SKH St. Joseph's Church Kindergarten, Caritas Lok Jun School, Ling Liang Church Sau Tak Primary School, Caritas Lok Yi School, Salem-immanuel Lutheran College, Sham Shui Po Government Primary School, and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Lo Yu Chik Primary School.

Meanwhile, five more elderly homes reported new Covid infections.

Public hospitals and treatment facilities are now housing 1,384 Covid patients. Among them, 22 are in critical condition, 11 are in serious condition, and six are staying in hospitals' intensive care units. In the past 24 hours, 155 patients have recovered from Covid, and 142 of them have been discharged.

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