Hong Kong reported 2,004 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday as health authorities expected the peak of this wave to come in July to mid-July.
Of the new cases, 1,849 were locally transmitted, including 788 confirmed via PCR tests and 1,061 verified rapid antigen test results. The remaining 155 infections were imported cases.
The remaining 155 cases were imported from overseas, including 65 detected at the airport, 63 at quarantine hotels, and 27 were patients who completed seven-day isolation and entered communities.
The Centre for Health Protection's principal medical and health officer Albert Au Ka-wing said the caseload of the fifth wave has exceeded 1.23 million.
Hospital Authority's chief manager for quality and standards, Lau Ka-hin, reported no new related death. The death tally in the city stands at 9,186.
Lau said, according to the University of Hong Kong projections, the peak of this wave of Covid
-19 would be in July to mid-July, expected to need 2,000 beds.
He said the most critical issue is the deployment of additional beds, for which the authorities will use a real-name system to let each staffer know where they are supposed to work to quickly increase the number of beds.
He also said the Hospital Authority could increase 2,000 beds in 48 hours and up to 11,500 beds in two weeks.
The authorities will first use beds at North Lantau Hospital and consider reopening isolation centers, including AsiaWorld-Expo, upon a utilization rate of more than 50 percent.
A total of 217 confirmed cases were reported by 186 schools on Wednesday, as another three classes would have to suspend.
Affected classes included class 4C of Tin Shui Wai Government Secondary School, a morning class of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Kindergarten, and a class of Hop Yat Church Chan Pak Wang Memorial Kindergarten.
Three more residential care homes reported new cases, including 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 the southern district.
At the same time, health authorities detected 25 more cases of the BA.2.12.1 Omicron subvariant and 15 more cases of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.
Hospitals and treatment facilities are housing 671 Covid
patients. Among them, 13 are in critical condition, 14 in serious condition, and three in intensive care.