Health authorities have said that the new method of presenting Covid-19 infections, which sees local and imported cases reported separately, gives a clearer picture of epidemic trends in the community.
Albert Au, the principal medical and health officer of the Centre for Health Protection, said during a press briefing on Wednesday that the authorities had “enhanced” the presentation of Hong Kong’s daily coronavirus statistics.
“If we take [the local and imported infections] together the number may sound like quite a lot, but we have to look at the proportion,” Au said.
“The imported case figures are very susceptible to the inbound policies. If there are more people coming back to Hong Kong, naturally the number of imported cases will be high,” he added. “This is not directly related to the spread of the virus in the community.”
“The more important figure is the local cases,” Au said. “This figure can help us get a grasp on the [epidemic] situation in the community.”
Previously, at the daily Covid-19 press briefings, officials announced the total number of new coronavirus infections – which included local and imported cases – before specifying how many among them were imported.
But starting from Tuesday, authorities stated the number of local cases before separately announcing the imported figures.
The change was not explained during the Tuesday press conference, leading to a number of media outlets – including iCable, Now and HKFP – erroneously reporting the caseload.
Hong Kong recorded 1,047 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, 971 of which were local and 76 of which were imported. The figures marked the first time the city saw daily infections in the four digits since mid-April.