Coronavirus now 'spreading out of control' in Hong Kong, says leader

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 20, 2020

But the city had impressive success in tackling the disease, all but ending local transmissions by late June.

However, in the last two weeks, infections have spiked once more and doctors fear the new outbreak is now spreading undetected in the densely packed territory of 7.5 million people.

It follows the wider global trend of several countries that previously thought they had the virus under control suffering from a rise in cases, with parts of Australia, Spain and Israel all imposing restrictions to tackle the surges.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that 259,848 new infections were reported on Saturday, its highest one-day tally yet.

Out of the 108 new COVID-19 cases confirmed on Sunday, 83 were locally transmitted while 25 were imported, South China Morning Post quoted the Centre of Health Protection as saying at a daily press briefing.

Another source said the government was also expected to announce that the compulsory wearing of masks would be extended to cover public spaces indoors. Restaurants have been allowed to offer take-away services only, and that too only till 6pm. Face masks will be mandatory in indoor public areas.

She said further social distancing measures would be rolled out if the daily infection rate did not ease in coming days.

Hong Kong was already mired in recession when the pandemic hit thanks to the US-China trade war and months of political unrest past year. An earlier outbreak at a slaughterhouse in western Germany infected over 1,400 and prompted a partial lockdown.

Speaking on Sunday from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis renewed his appeal for an immediate worldwide ceasefire that he said "will permit the peace and security indispensable to supplying the necessary humanitarian assistance".

On Sunday, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said that social-distancing measures were likely to be continued.

"We can't just make a simple and extreme move to cut everything at once", Lam said.

In Europe, where infections are far from their peak in the spring but local outbreaks are causing concern, leaders of the 27-nation European Union haggled for a third day in Brussels over a proposed 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.1-trillion) EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund.

"It's hard to tell what kind of measures we will need to roll out... many places have ordered people to stay home", she said.

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