Hong Kong estimates blocking 34,000 daily infections

HANGKONG – On Monday, Hong Kong reported a record high of 34,466 new infections as deaths continue to rise and health officials say a block is not ruled out, even though the mayor said last week that citywide closures were unrealistic.

Hong Kong is currently battling the fifth wave of coronavirus, caused primarily by the omicron variant. More than 34,000 cases on Monday more than quadrupled compared to a week ago, when more than 7,500 infections were reported in the city.

“Every three days, the number of cases will double,” said Albert Au, chief medical and health doctor at the city’s health center, during a daily virus briefing. “We think the number will grow.”

On Monday, the city also reported 87 deaths. Of the 87 deaths, 67 were unvaccinated.

Health authorities said the government could take action, which could include “asking people to stay home,” and that it remains to be seen whether such action will be taken in accordance with the law or other means.

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Hong Kong Health Minister Sofia Chan said during a radio program Monday that the government is “still discussing” the issue of blocking to reduce the flow of people and maximize the effectiveness of mass testing exercises.

Hong Kong officials last week announced citywide universal testing scheduled for Marchand more than 7 million city residents must be tested three times.

Authorities have extended social distancing measures, such as a ban on lunch after 6 p.m., to April and postponed summer vacations for students to March so schools can be turned into testing centers, isolation facilities and vaccination facilities. Students whose vacations are postponed are more likely to attend school during the summer, although international schools in the city are not affected.

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Since the beginning of the fifth wave in Hong Kong in late 2021, the city has registered 193,149 infections.

The authorities of the mainland too sent teams of experts and medical resources to Hong Kongas the city hastened to build temporary isolators to cope with the outbreak of infections.

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