August 9, 2020

Covid-19: Hong Kong on verge of ‘large-scale’ outbreak, says Carrie Lam

(BBC) – Hong Kong’s hospital system could face “collapse” as it grapples with a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, the city’s leader Carrie Lam has warned.

She said the city was “on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak” and urged people to stay indoors.

New regulations, including mandatory face masks and the closure of dine-in restaurants, kicked in on Wednesday.

Hong Kong – which had early success against Covid-19 – is now regularly reporting over 100 new daily cases.

Less than a month ago, the average number of new daily cases was under 10.

What did Carrie Lam say?

In a statement late on Tuesday, Ms Lam warned the city was on the “verge of a large-scale community outbreak, which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly”.

She called on residents to adhere “strictly to social distancing measures and stay at home as far as possible”.

Her remarks come as Hong Kong confirmed another 106 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, and reported its 23rd overall death.

A record 145 cases were recorded on Monday.

What are the new restrictions?

From Wednesday, dining in restaurants is banned, and only two people from different households can meet, under the toughest rules Hong Kong has adopted so far.

It’s also now compulsory for face masks to be worn in all public places.

It was earlier announced that spaces like bars, gyms and beauty parlours would be closed.