Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)

Director of Health Dr Constance Chan today said the increasing trend in the number of local COVID-19 cases with an unknown source of infection is worrying.

Dr Chan at a press briefing this afternoon said the number of local cases has increased over the past two weeks.

From September 25 to October 1, there were eight local cases, while a total of 35 cases were recorded from October 2 to 8.

During the two periods, cases with an unknown source of infection increased from three to 12.

“And in the last week, there were a total of 12 cases with unknown sources. So the trend and the numbers are indeed very worrying.”

Dr Chan added that a report from Hong Kong University showed that the Rt (effective reproductive number) has increased from below one to almost one, while the Ct (cycle threshold) value of recent cases was low indicating a high viral load.

“These are all very bad signs for a rebound.

“The third wave actually has never ended. We have always been seeing a lingering number of cases, and with the recent rebound that is why I would appeal to our community to work together.”

Noting that many people have taken staycations at hotels and even hosted parties in hotel rooms recently, Dr Chan said the Department of Health and the Tourism Commission will meet hotel sector representatives to remind them to strictly enforce social distancing guidelines.

“On the point of staycation and whether it falls within the definition or the remit of Cap 559, the law enforcement departments are looking into the issue.

“But I must stress in places – whether public or private – it is important and more useful for each and every one of us individually to observe personal hygiene, wear a mask, maintain social distance and adopt proper hand sanitation, hand hygiene.

“Because after all, any law enforcement agency cannot every minute go into a place – whether a public or private place – to watch over whether people are behaving in a way that is conducive to the transmission of the disease.”

Dr Chan urged members of the public to remain vigilant and adopt anti-epidemic measures.

By Bureau