Health workers work inside the lobby of a hotel where a Mexican guest was tested positive for influenza A (H1N1) virus, formerly referred to as swine flu, in Hong Kong May 3, 2009.Travellers quarantined in the Hong Kong hotel for a week expressed frustration on Saturday at the tough steps and a medical expert said authorities had over-reacted. Police on Friday evening ordered approximately 200 guests and 100 staff to stay in the hotel for the next seven days. (Reuters Photo / Bobby Yip )

Hong Kong's swine flu tally has reached 596, increasing by 35 percent with 152 new cases conformed within just two days, the Department of Health (DH) said on Friday.

According to the statistics from DH, 62 new cases were confirmed on Thursday and 90 more on Friday, involving 96 males and 56 females, aged between one to 70. This is another 35 percent up after the total number of cases tripled in 10 days by Tuesday.

The Designated Flu Clinics on Friday (as at 5pm) provided treatment to a total of 270 patients, said the Hospital Authority (HA) spokesman.

The HA spokesman reminded the public that the eight Designated Flu Clinics (DFCs) have ceased the provision of general outpatient services. Patients with other illnesses are advised to seek medical treatment at other general outpatient clinics in the district or private practitioners.

Chronic patients who have been pre-scheduled for follow up at the eight DFCs should proceed to their corresponding clinics with drug refill service according to their date of original appointment and bring along the appointment slip and Identity Card, the spokesman noted.

The Legislative Council Finance Committee had approved about HKD 1 billion ($129 million) in funding for the Government to procure swine flu vaccines, and pneumococcal and seasonal flu vaccines on June 19, and the Government would sign a contract with qualified vaccine producers shortly to secure an ample supply before winter.

According to the DH spokesman, 384 out of 596 confirmed cases have been discharged from public hospitals upon recovery, the remaining cases in hospitals have been stable (none required intensive care and there were no fatal cases).

(HKD 1 = $ 0.129032)