HONG KONG — China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government Monday announced further anti-epidemic measures, including the prohibition of dining-in services in restaurants and mandatory mask-wearing in all public places, which will come into effect on Wednesday.
The decision came after seeing a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections in Hong Kong recently, with the daily additional cases surpassed 100 for five consecutive days, Matthew Cheung, Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government, said at a press conference on Monday.
Furthermore, the group gathering limit will be lowered from four to two people and fitness rooms and game centers, sports venues and swimming pools will be closed.
The new measures will last until Aug 4, Cheung said, urging employers in Hong Kong to allow employees to work from home during this critical time of the epidemic to reduce the flow of people in public areas.
CCP promises to provide all necessary support for the anti-epidemic fight in Hong Kong
The central government will provide all necessary support for the anti-epidemic fight in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) at the request of the HKSAR government, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR said.
As long as the HKSAR has the need, the central government will provide great assistance in medical materials, facilities and equipment at any time, a spokesperson of the office said in a statement on Sunday night, promising to help Hong Kong improve its virus testing capability and assist in the construction of makeshift hospitals.
Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection reported 128 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the fifth straight day when the daily additional cases surpassed 100.
The spokesperson stressed the central government pays high attention to the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong.
The National Health Commission held an online meeting last Friday with governments of Guangdong province, the Hong Kong HKSAR and the Macao SAR to improve exchanges and experience sharing.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of this year, the central government has helped arrange shipments of face masks and other anti-disease materials to Hong Kong, spared no efforts to ensure the supply of daily necessities to Hong Kong, and also helped Hong Kong residents stranded in the mainland and overseas return home, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the central government will continue to watch the epidemic development in Hong Kong and maintain close contact with the HKSAR government, and urged concerted efforts of the entire Hong Kong society to fight COVID-19.
In the statement, the spokesperson also opposed a slander campaign on the central government’s support. Some rumormongers claimed that genetic samples of Hong Kong people will be sent to the mainland, and medical institutions from the mainland will aggravate the coronavirus spread in Hong Kong.
The slanders are politically-motivated, the spokesperson said, condemning those behind the slander campaign for creating a political split and putting personal gains above the life and health of Hong Kong residents.