Virus surge begins to overwhelm Hong Kong’s COVID measures
Hong Kong’s leader on Tuesday said a surge of coronavirus cases is overwhelming the city’s emergency resources, but defended strict measures that have been imposed.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Chinese central government was extending help to the city, which remains a nominally autonomous enclave.
Despite its varying success, Hong Kong has stuck with China’s zero-tolerance strategy requiring lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing for COVID-19.
“So far, our measures to contain the spread of the disease remain legitimate and valid,” Lam told reporters.
“The problem we are facing is given the magnitude, the pace of and the severity of this fifth wave,” Lam said. “It has outgrown our capacity.”
The city reported a record 2,071 new cases on Monday, with that number expected to double on Tuesday with more than 4,500 preliminary positives identified.
Lam added that authorities will designate as quarantine stations new public housing units that have yet to be occupied, along with around 10,000 hotel rooms. Hong Kong requires confirmed coronavirus cases to isolate.
The city’s restrictions extend to limiting in-person gatherings to no more than two households, allowing only vaccinated people in shopping malls and supermarkets, and closing places of worship, hair salons and other businesses.
Authorities have also imposed lockdowns on residential buildings wherever clusters of infections are identified, and have banned public dining after 6 p.m. Schools have extended a suspension of in-class teaching until March 6.
Lam said China’s central government was working to “enhance the capacities at various parts of this anti-epidemic effort,” but ruled out placing Hong Kong under a complete lockdown as has been done in various Chinese cities, where millions of residents have been confined to their homes in recent months.
Hong Kong reports record COVID-19 cases, tightens measures
Virus surge begins to overwhelm Hong Kong’s COVID measures (2022, February 15)
retrieved 15 February 2022
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.