Hong Kong saw 17,236 reports of positive rapid Covid-19 tests within the first six hours of the government’s launch of the self-reporting online system.
After deducting duplicates and cases which had been earlier confirmed, the total number of valid reports stood at 14,715, Albert Au, the principal medial and health officer from the Centre for Health Protection, said during the daily Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday.
Of the 14,000-odd patients, 2,018 had completed the procedure by submitting their HK identity card copy and a picture of their positive rapid antigen test (RAT) via an SMS link sent to them by midnight.
The online reporting system went live at 6 p.m. on Monday, allowing people to inform health authorities if they test positive for Covid-19 using a RAT.
Au said the new cases recorded through the system would be included in Wednesday’s count. Hong Kong confirmed 28,475 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, and another 160 deaths at public hospitals in the past 24 hours.
Downward trend in daily cases
The city has seen a dip in its daily Covid-19 case count over the past few days. Last week, authorities reported three consecutive days of 50,000-odd new infections.
“[It’s] not like in early February when the number of confirmed cases multiplied,” Au said, adding that the decrease in figures could be attributed to the cooperation of the public with social distancing measures.
He added that the epidemic still had to be observed “very carefully,” encouraging members of the public to report their positive rapid test results so that authorities could get a clearer picture of the outbreak.
Gabriel Leung, the dean of the University of Hong Kong’s medical faculty, said that based on the newest modelling, the fifth wave peaked last week and that daily infections are expected to fall below 1,000 by the end of April.