Hong Kong chief Carrie Lama has warned that the city̵7;s hospital system could face a “collapse” as it faces a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
She said the city was “on the brink of a large-scale community outbreak” and urged people to stay outside.
New regulations were announced on Wednesday, including mandatory face masks and the closure of dinners at restaurants.
Hong Kong, which was successful against Covid-19, now regularly reports 100 new daily cases.
Less than a month ago, the average number of new daily cases was less than 10.
What did Carrie Lam say?
In a declaration issued at the end of Tuesday, p. Lam warned that the city is “on the brink of a large-scale community outbreak that could lead to the collapse of our hospital system and claim lives, especially the elderly.
She urged residents to “strictly adhere to social isolation measures and stay at home as much as possible.”
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Her remarks related to Hong Kong confirming another 106 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday and reporting its 23rd overall death.
A record 145 cases were registered on Monday.
What are the new restrictions?
From Wednesday, lunch at restaurants and only two people from different households will be banned under the strictest rules ever adopted in Hong Kong.
Now face masks are also mandatory to wear in all public places.
It was previously announced that spaces such as bars, gyms and beauty salons will be closed.
At the beginning of the month, public meetings with up to 50 people were allowed, but it was reduced to four and now two.
Wasn’t there a success story for the virus in Hong Kong?
It really looked like a start.
The outbreak led to a sharp decline in cross-border travel with China, the introduction of “tracking and tracing”, and other restrictions.
This year, the city spent weeks without a locally transferred case.
However, as life began to return to normal, an increase in locally transmitted cases was recorded. The average number of new cases has risen from more than 120 at the beginning of the month.
One professor at the University of Hong Kong said the cases were probably due to “shortcomings in border procedures in Hong Kong”.
Jin Dongyan told the Global Times that “patients from abroad have been able to transmit the virus to the communities that are currently transmitting the virus.”
The last person to die from the virus was a resident of a nursing home with at least 45 infections.
Local scientists have expressed fears that a strain of the virus circulating in Hong Kong could do more damage.
It is said to have not mutated for at least 22 days, meaning it was able to adapt well to humans, more easily transmitted.
Will the election still take place?
The new measures come with reports that the Hong Kong Parliamentary Legislative Council elections could be postponed for one year.
News releases HK01, the Hong Kong Economic Times and TVB said the government had made a decision, which has yet to be officially announced due to coronavirus concerns.
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The election was due to take place on September 6th.
However, opposition figures show that the postponement is intended to dispel anger over the new national security law.