Like mainland China and far of East Asia, Hong Kong has lengthy adopted a method of combating the virus via contact tracing, focused lockdowns and prolonged quarantines.
And as a lot of the world has chosen to open up and reside with Covid-19, the town has dug in its heels, with Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam insisting she was nonetheless dedicated to attaining “zero-Covid” whilst infections mount.
On Saturday the town recorded 351 confirmed instances, its highest each day determine because the pandemic started, with 161 instances being both untraceable or pending investigation.
“Primarily based on the present development price of instances, we estimate that (medical isolation) services will quickly be unable to quarantine all sufferers,” well being chief Sophia Chan informed reporters.
Chan urged Hong Kongers to remain at residence to sluggish the unfold of the virus, although mentioned that sewage evaluation had revealed the virus had already been present in a lot of the town.
Well being officers additionally mentioned they’d loosen guidelines which have seen hundreds of shut contacts of contaminated folks detained in a authorities facility, suggesting they are able to quarantine at residence relying on their danger degree.
This might unencumber hospital beds and have in mind the truth that the Omicron variant — which makes up nearly all of Hong Kong’s new instances — causes milder signs, authorities added.
Final month authorities locked down hundreds of residents of a public housing property after a superspreader occasion, prompting criticism that the town’s inhabitants density made residence quarantine unfeasible.
Hong Kong’s spike in instances got here on the fifth day of the Lunar New 12 months holidays, throughout which the federal government warned towards households gathering for festivities.
Metropolis chief Lam earlier mentioned authorities might additional tighten virus-control measures subsequent week.
Hong Kong has recorded greater than 15,000 confirmed coronavirus instances with 213 deaths.
© Agence France-Presse