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Global Times

HK govt announces toughest social-distancing rule to combat COVID-19 flare-ups

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/13 22:13:40

The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has adopted the most drastic social-distancing rule and vowed to expand the city's testing amid COVID-19 infection flare-ups, which experts called the most serious situation the city has faced since the outbreak.

Restaurants in Hong Kong are banned from offering dine-in services from 6pm to 5am, and can offer take-out only; 12 types of listed premises, such as gyms and KTVs, will be closed temporarily for 7 days to contain the viral spread, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Monday evening at a press conference.

The conference was held after Hong Kong saw new COVID-19 flare-ups in recent days, and government virus prevention experts warned the city has entered the most serious situation since the viral outbreak.

A total of 52 new infections were found in Hong Kong on Monday, 41 local, raising the city's new COVID-19 infections to 1,522.

Inbound travelers to Hong Kong who have stayed in COVID-19 high-risk areas in the past 14 days must provide a negative nucleic acid test result before boarding, or the airline will be fined, Lam said.

Mass gatherings in Hong Kong are limited to up to four people, and will take effect at midnight on Wednesday, according to Lam.

She also said Disneyland Park and Ocean Park will be closed again.

Hong Kong's education authority announced on Monday that the tutorial schools also need to suspend in-person sessions for two weeks starting Wednesday.

The Hong Kong education authority announced on Friday the suspension of classes and the start of early summer vacation, amid fears the city may be savaged by a new round of virus infections.

In addition, Lam vowed to strengthen the city's testing capability, which includes free nucleic acid tests to high risk groups, including employees at nursing homes, people who work in the catering business and property management, and taxi drivers.

Lam said the Hong Kong government will cooperate with nucleic test institutes in neighboring Shenzhen to round up tests for high risk groups.

At least 12 taxi drivers were found with the virus on Monday, and passengers were also found infected.

She also required passengers to wear masks on public transportation. Anyone who is found not wearing a mask and refuses to leave will be fined up to HK$5,000.

Hong Kong saw a spike of new COVID-19 cases over the past few days, as the third wave of the pandemic was believed to have started last week in the city.

A 95-year-old female diagnosed with COVID-19 died on Monday evening, bringing the total to eight deaths from the virus in the city. She was hospitalized Friday, according to Hong Kong Hospital Authority.

Meanwhile, a confirmed COVID-19 patient in Hong Kong was revealed on Monday to have donated blood before being confirmed infected, and the news sparked fear of coronavirus infections through blood transfusions.



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