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Hong Kong Could Consider Tighter Curbs as Covid Cases Rise

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Hong Kong health officials said tighter social distancing restrictions could be considered if rising Covid-19 cases worsen the pressure on the city’s health system.

The city reported 7,884 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday, the highest number since the end of March. Increased hospitalizations have put pressure on the health-care system, prompting hospitals to scale back non-emergency services and the reopening of community isolation facilities.

Expanding virus curbs would be seen as a step back for Asia’s financial hub, which has struggled to balance reopening its borders with mainland China and the rest of the world. 

“The current situation is on a rising trend. Of course we hope to conduct a targeted virus control approach, but we are very worried about the health-care system capacity,” health official Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a briefing. “If the pressure on health-care capacity continues, the government — although unwillingly — can’t rule out the chance to tighten some social distancing rules, and that will impact more residents.”

Chuang’s comments echo comments officials in the financial hub have made before about a potential response to rising cases.

Chief Executive John Lee — sworn into office on July 1 — has pledged to restore the city’s global standing. Hong Kong has made tentative steps to ease some of the world’s toughest travel restrictions, including reducing the period of time visitors spend in hotel quarantine to three days from seven. 

— With assistance by Jinshan Hong, and Shirley Zhao

Source : Bloomberg