The health officials in Hong Kong, on Saturday, December 5, warned that the area could face an ‘explosive outbreak’ of the novel coronavirus. Also, the government announced mandatory testing for all taxi drivers. As per reports by ANI, the country’s fourth wave started last month and on Friday, December 4, 36 new cases were recorded with origins completely unknown.
Cases in Hong Kong surge
Dr Albert Au, from the centre’s communicable disease branch, at the Covid-19 press briefing said, “The current state of the pandemic in Hong Kong, I can say, is very serious… If the situation continues, at some point we may encounter an explosive outbreak in the near future.” As per the reports by the South China Morning Post, the Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee, made testing mandatory for all taxi drivers, who will be working from December 25 to January 23. The hospital authorities urged citizens to be patient and cooperate with medical facilities.
Recently, in a separate development, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, urged its citizens to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel, keeping in mind a surge in cases. As per reports by AP, she said, “The latest wave of the epidemic is rather severe. Every one of us should do our best and exercise a high level of discipline to fight the pandemic.” Ham added, “The coming two weeks is a crucial period”, as she asked people to “refrain from social gatherings,” especially the elderly. With the new wave grappling the city, social distancing measures have been tightened by the authority. According to a tally by the John Hopkins University, Hong Kong has a total of 6,803 cases with 112 fatalities.
‘Travel Bubble’ postponed
Also, the growing number of cases in Hong Kong has delayed the “travel bubble” between Singapore and Hong Kong. The ‘travel bubble’ was opened with the aim to provide the much required boost to the tourism industry. The idea was to allow a quota of at least 200 residents from each city to travel on one daily flight to the other. However, only those passengers will reportedly be allowed to board the flight who have been in the former British colony or Singapore for at least two weeks and have tested negative for COVID-19.