Daily COVID-19 cases cross 50,000 mark in Hong Kong for first time

Screengrab of the Information Services Department’s video of a presser on the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong on March 2, 2022.
Screengrab of the Information Services Department’s video of a presser on the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong on March 2, 2022.

Daily COVID-19 cases passed the 50,000 mark in Hong Kong for the first time since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday.

The figure is a big jump from 32,597 a day before.

The Centre for Health Protection reported 55,353 infections on Wednesday. All but 27 were locally transmitted.

The center said it had recorded 281,099 cases of the coronavirus in the fifth wave.

“From what we can see, [the number of cases] is on an upward trajectory. It does not look like it is reaching a peak or falling for the time being,” said Albert Au, the center’s principal medical and health officer.

The city also saw 117 deaths on Tuesday, aged 58 to 100.

The Hospital Authority said 95 had no vaccination record.

Of the 117, 78 came from residential homes for the elderly or disabled, and 110 were elderly.

Larry Lee, the Hospital Authority’s chief manager for integrated clinical services, said four younger patients who died had chronic illness.

They include a 58-year-old woman who had been admitted to Kowloon Hospital since November last year.

Lee said she had mental health issues and tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-February.

She was then transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and passed away there on Tuesday.

The chief manager said there was a backlog of 43 deaths, which were not announced earlier due to a delay in reporting. Their ages ranged from 58 to 99.

He also clarified that the death toll on Monday, which was announced during Tuesday’s press briefing, should be 116 instead of the 117 reported.

This means 967 COVID-19 patients had died in the fifth wave in public hospitals.

Lee added that as of last night, 64 patients were in critical condition and 88 in serious condition.

Earlier in the day, Chief Executive Carrie Lam reiterated that there would be no wholesale citywide lockdown for Hong Kong.

“But limiting people from heading out to a certain extent to drastically reduce the movement of people, we have done this in the past and believe it is necessary to carry this out to complement the mandatory universal testing in the future,” said Lam.

But she said the government would take into consideration the situation in Hong Kong and residents’ needs when determining the extent of such measures.

Lam’s comments came after Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan’s remarks on Monday that the government was not ruling out a citywide lockdown to go along with the mass testing program — which will take place this month.

The health minister’s words sparked a round of panic buying in Hong Kong, with some supermarket shelves stripped bare of goods the past few days.

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