All but three of the new infections were locally transmitted.
Officials reported 39 Covid-related deaths – most of whom are chronically ill, unvaccinated elderly people.
The Hospital Authority (HA) said 32 patients passed away on Monday while seven died on Sunday but there was a delay in reporting the cases.
The authority said 145 patients had died since the latest wave of coronavirus infections hit, and at present, 19 patients are critically ill while 30 are in serious condition.
Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said there are also over 9,300 preliminary positive cases, but she admitted that this figure could no longer reflect the epidemic situation in Hong Kong.
“Recently, because of the huge amount of samples… there is some delay in sending those specimens and also in confirmations of those specimens. So those preliminary positive numbers are cumulative numbers that have not yet been confirmed. Some of the cases, we observed, they reported the case a few days ago,” she said.
Instead, Chuang said authorities will now release the daily figure of new cases notified to the authorities, which she said, had increased 64-fold this month to 8,013 cases on Monday.
Officials added that over 300 care homes for the elderly and the disabled had reported coronavirus infections in the latest outbreak, involving 820 residents and 230 staff members.
A chief manager of the Hospital Authority, Dr Lau Ka-hin, also said 873 hospital staff have been infected so far.
He said from this week, all Hospital Authority staff will have to do a rapid antigen test before they start work.
The HA had said private hospitals will start treating some non-Covid public patients, and Lau said St. Paul’s Hospital in Causeway Bay has since offered 20 beds.
He said he hopes similar arrangements can be made with other private hospitals.
Last updated: 2022-02-22 HKT 18:22
General Covid-19 situation: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/
Covid-19 testing: https://www.communitytest.gov.hk/en/
Compulsory testing notices: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/105294.html
Community Clinics for Covid-19 patients: https://bit.ly/3GXwDXJ
Vaccination programme: https://www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/en/
Hotline for Covid-positive patients: 1836 115