The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Sunday reached a new high in over three months, prompting the HKSAR government to roll out more stringent measures to curb further spreading of the virus.
The Center for Health Protection said there were 68 new cases, including 61 local infections reported, taking Hong Kong's total tally to 5,628. Twelve of the local cases had unknown origins and most of the rest cases were related to dancing club clusters.
The Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said a compulsory testing order was issued to those who have been to the 14 places whereby the dancing gatherings have taken place, as the number of unlinked cases has been increasing in the past few days.
To reduce the risk of transmission, face-to-face classes for low-grades primary school students and in kindergartens have been suspended; special groups such as patients with symptoms, care home staffs and taxi drivers have been given compulsory testing; and more sampling stations have been set up.
Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government Matthew Cheung Kin-chung called on the public to strengthen self-discipline and self-protection, reduce unnecessary trips and gatherings, pay attention to personal and environmental hygiene, and strictly observe epidemic prevention regulations and restrictions.
The HKSAR government is closely monitoring the development of the epidemic, and will probably introduce more stringent anti-epidemic measures to contain the virus, so as to resume customs clearance between the mainland, Macao and Hong Kong at an early date and restart Hong Kong's economy, he said.