Hong Kong Health Secretary Sophia Chan Siu-chee said on Thursday that the government is considering extending its curbs – like a dine-in ban and mandatory face masks – to more areas if the local coronavirus outbreak doesn’t improve.
Chan said that the government isn’t ruling out more drastic measures if the situation remains severe.
The government recorded today 118 cases, setting a high for the second day running, with another patient dying.
Of the new COVID-19 infections, 111 were locally transmitted, taking the city’s overall tally to 2,249 with 15 related deaths. This came after Hong Kong recorded 113 new infections on Wednesday.
Hong Kong has seen record surges in COVID-19 cases in the past couple of weeks and some health experts have suggested the city may have to go into a virtual lockdown.
Under Secretary for Food and Health Dr Chui Tak-yi urged the public, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, to remain at home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.
The government has been steadily expanding preventive measures to contain the third wave of the pandemic, shutting bars, limiting restaurant service and banning public gatherings of more than four people.
The government made wearing masks mandatory on public transport last week, and residents will be required to wear them in indoor public venues, including shopping malls, supermarkets, bus interchanges and terminuses, beginning today. Anyone flouting the new regulation will be subject to a maximum fine of HK$5,000 (US$645).