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Hong Kong on verge of ‘large-scale’ outbreak

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Carrie Lam has urged residents to remain residence as town grapples with a rising outbreak

Hong Kong’s hospital system might face “collapse” because it grapples with a pointy rise in coronavirus circumstances, town’s chief Carrie Lam has warned.

She mentioned town was “on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak”, urging individuals to remain indoors.

New laws, together with necessary face masks and the closure of dine-in eating places, kicked in on Wednesday.

Hong Kong – which had early success in opposition to Covid-19 – is now commonly reporting over 100 new each day circumstances.

Less than a month in the past, the common quantity of new each day circumstances was underneath 10.

What did Carrie Lam say?

In a press release late on Tuesday, Ms Lam warned town was on the “verge of a large-scale community outbreak, which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly”.

She referred to as on residents to stick “strictly to social distancing measures and stay at home as far as possible”.

  • Hong Kong stories greatest one-day rise in circumstances

Her remarks come as Hong Kong confirmed one other 106 coronavirus circumstances on Tuesday, and reported its 23rd general demise.

A document 145 circumstances had been recorded on Monday.

What are the brand new restrictions?

From Wednesday, eating in eating places is banned, and solely two individuals from totally different households can meet, underneath the hardest guidelines Hong Kong has adopted thus far.

It’s additionally now obligatory for face masks to be worn in all public locations.

It was earlier introduced that areas like bars, gyms and sweetness parlours can be closed.

At the beginning of the month, public gatherings of as much as 50 individuals had been allowed – however that was diminished to 4, and now two.

Wasn’t Hong Kong a virus success story?

It undoubtedly seemed that method to start with.

At the beginning of the outbreak earlier this yr, cross-border journey with China was sharply diminished, “track and trace” was launched, and different restrictions had been imposed.

The metropolis went weeks with out a regionally transmitted case.

But as life began to return to regular, an increase in regionally transmitted circumstances was recorded. The common quantity of new circumstances rose from single figures at the beginning of the month, to greater than 120 now.

One professor on the University of Hong Kong mentioned the circumstances had in all probability emerged as a consequence of “flaws in border procedures in Hong Kong”.

Jin Dongyan told the Global Times that “patients from overseas may have brought the virus to communities which resulted in the current local transmission”.

The newest particular person to die from the virus was a resident of a care residence the place at the least 45 infections have been recorded.

Local scientists have voiced fears {that a} pressure of the virus circulating in Hong Kong might trigger larger harm.

It is alleged to haven’t mutated for at the least 22 days, that means it might have tailored properly to people, turning into simpler to transmit.

Will the election nonetheless happen?

The new measures come amid stories that elections to Hong Kong’s parliament – the Legislative Council – might be postponed by a yr.

News shops HK01, Hong Kong Economic Times and TVB mentioned the federal government had made the choice, which is but to be formally introduced, as a result of of coronavirus issues.

  • Why individuals are scared of Hong Kong’s new regulation

The elections had been set to be held on 6 September. Opposition figures, nonetheless, have recommended the postponement is designed to dissipate anger over the brand new nationwide safety regulation.

The wide-ranging regulation, imposed by Beijing final month, criminalises acts of “secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion”.

It was seen as curbing criticism and freedom of speech – whereas rising Beijing’s management of Hong Kong, which has been a particular administrative area of China since British dominated resulted in 1997.

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Media captionHong Kong activist Joshua Wong believes he’s now being adopted after the brand new safety regulation was handed

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