'There are hundreds of transmission chains now' - RTHK
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'There are hundreds of transmission chains now'

2022-02-06 HKT 17:06
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  • 'There are hundreds of transmission chains now'
Health authorities on Sunday reported 342 new Covid-19 infections, all of them are local cases.

Speaking at a press briefing, the Centre for Health Protection’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said authorities have so far managed to trace the source of infections for around 100 patients, and are still investigating the remaining cases.

Of the new cases, 20 are suspected to be infected with the Delta variant, and others are believed to have contracted Omicron.

Director of Health Ronald Lam said this wave of outbreaks has entered a critical stage.

He noted that, in the past two weeks, 1,921 cases were confirmed and around 320 of them are unlinked, indicating there are probably hundreds of transmission chains in the community.

“Currently, in gist, we have over 320 cases cumulative that are of unknown origin. If one case represents one transmission chain, there obviously will be over 320 transmission chains in the community,” he said.

“Bearing in mind that one case can spread to more than one person, representing more than one transmission chain. So, the minimum at least is over 320,” said Lam.

Despite the surge of unlinked cases, Lam maintained that contact tracing is key to containing the outbreaks.

“It is essentially and critically important that we continue to maintain the containment policy. Especially using the most effective tools of contact tracing, quarantine and sending those detected cases for treatment in the hospital,” he said.

Lam said most of the untraceable cases are from Sham Shui Po, Sha Tin, Kowloon City, Kwai Ching and Wong Tai Sin, but added all the districts in the SAR have more or less been affected now.

He said many of the cases had been to cross-family gatherings during the Lunar New Year.

Lam again called on people, especially the elderly, to get jabbed as soon as possible.

He said previous cases suggested that unvaccinated people may carry a heavier viral load and are thus more likely to cause superspreading events.

There are more than 300 preliminary positive cases.

Dr Lam also admitted that it's "undesirable" that there were long queues at a number testing centres. But he said the situation should improve when the city's testing capacity is increased.