HK tightens social distancing measures as 80 new COVID-19 cases emerge
Pedestrians wearing face masks walk across a road in Hong Kong, south China, November 24, 2020. /Xinhua

Pedestrians wearing face masks walk across a road in Hong Kong, south China, November 24, 2020. /Xinhua

Hong Kong on Tuesday announced a further tightening of social distancing as new COVID-19 infections hit a new high in more than three months.

Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection reported 80 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, refreshing the record in more than three months. The origins of 10 out of the 69 local infections were unclear, and the number of patients found related to a dancing gathering climbed to 187.

A series of entertainment venues, from bars to party rooms and night clubs, will be closed for seven days starting Thursday and no more than 40 people would be allowed for any banquet, Sophia Chan, secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Live performance and dancing will be banned in all eateries and the number of occupants in a hotel room will also be capped, Chan said.

The tougher policies came after unprotected, indoor activities boosted local infections with an increasing number of infections of unknown sources.

To prevent the coronavirus from spreading, the government has launched compulsory testing for people who visited high-risk places. Chan said 50 preliminary cases have been found out of some 2,800 people tested.

According to Hong Kong's Hospital Authority, 290 patients are still being treated in hospitals, including seven in critical condition.

To relieve the pressure on public hospitals, the community treatment facility at the AsiaWorld-Expo will resume operation on Wednesday, mainly to admit young patients with mild symptoms and are able to live independently, as well as those tested positive preliminarily.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency