Hong Kong reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, ending a 12-day streak of more than 100 new cases each day, but a health official stressed that anti-epidemic measures cannot be loosened.
Of the new cases, all locally infected, 56 patients were related to previous cases, while transmission chains of the other 24 were still unclear, according to a press conference of the Center for Health Protection (CHP).
Despite the drop in new cases, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the CHP's Communicable Disease Branch, called for continued efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
So far Hong Kong has reported 3,589 cases, and the number of those who remain in hospital stands at 1,243. The number of deaths from COVID-19 is 37.
Hong Kong has introduced several rounds of stringent measures to fight the virus over the past weeks, such as compulsory mask-wearing in all public places, the group gathering limit of two people, and tightened testing and quarantine arrangements.
Multiple social distancing measures due on Tuesday midnight, including limited dine-in services at restaurants and closures of entertainment venues, will be extended for another seven days as the epidemic situation remains grave, according to a statement of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Monday.
Given the high risk of an outbreak in communities, the HKSAR government appealed to residents to reduce social activities so as to help cut the transmission chains.
The HKSAR government's Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung on Monday asked schools to arrange online courses for students in the upcoming new semester.