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Hong Kong daily COVID tally to hit yet another record – TVB

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People wearing face masks queue at a makeshift testing centre for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) following the outbreak, in Hong Kong, China February 17, 2022. REUTERS/Lam Yik

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HONG KONG, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Hong Kong health authorities are expected to confirm at least 7,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, broadcaster TVB reported, setting a fresh record high as the city braces for a long fight to bring a worsening outbreak back under control.

City leader Carrie Lam said on Friday that it would take up to three months to stabilise a surge in infections that has overwhelmed health facilities and forced the postponement of an upcoming leadership election. read more

The chief executive election, initially scheduled for March, will be postponed to May, adding to uncertainty about the former British colony’s future as Beijing imposes its rule. read more

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The government is detailing plans for universal mandatory city testing, Lam said, while ruling out a city-wide lockdown.

Quarantine facilities have reached capacity and hospital beds were more than 95% full as cases spiral, with some patients, including elderly, left for prolonged periods this week on beds outside in chilly, wet weather. read more

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who backs a “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy, has said fighting the virus was Hong Kong’s “over-riding mission”. read more

TVB, citing an unidentified source, said Hong Kong was expected to report at least 7,000 new daily COVID-19 infections on Saturday versus Friday’s 3,629, with an additional 7,000 preliminary positive cases compared with 7,600 the previous day.

The city has recorded more than 40,000 infections and less than 300 deaths since the pandemic started, far fewer than in other major cities. However some epidemiologists expect daily infections to approach 30,000 by the end of March.

On Friday, Lam said Hong Kong had identified more than 20,000 hotel rooms for quarantine accommodation, with property developers piling in to show support.

Henderson Land (0012.HK) said it would provide rural land to build a makeshift hospital, while New World Development (0017.HK) said it would offer a major convention centre to serve as a COVID-19 testing centre. read more

The first cargo ship carrying three tonnes of “choy sum”, or Chinese cabbage, arrived in Hong Kong early on Saturday from Guangzhou, TVB reported, as mainland authorities try to restore vegetable supplies to the city after recent shortages caused by truck drivers testing positive. read more

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Reporting by Clare Jim and Twinnie Siu; Editing by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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