Hong Kong third wave: city should brace for tougher social-distancing rules if situation worsens, says deputy leader

Hong Kong third wave: city should brace for tougher social-distancing rules if situation worsens, says deputy leader

  • Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung says next two weeks will be crucial and city must do its best to prevent further spread of virus
  • Measures could include restrictions on movement and business hours but full lockdown ruled out

Hong Kong should brace itself for more stringent social-distancing rules if the third wave of coronavirus infections gets worse, the city’s deputy leader warned on Sunday.

Among the measures could be restrictions on business hours and residents’ movements, but a full lockdown with stay-at-home orders was not on the table, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said on his official blog.The city is battling a resurgence of the pandemic, with daily tallies setting records this past week and 128 new cases emerging on Sunday, taking the total number of infections to 2,633, with 18 related deaths.

“This wave of the epidemic has been the most severe in half a year,” Cheung said. “The next two weeks will be very crucial. We must do our best to prevent the virus from spreading further in the community.”

“In addition to the necessary measures that are being taken by the government, residents’ self-discipline and cooperation is also very important,” Cheung said. “I earnestly urge people to stay at home as much as is practicable, reduce social contact and avoid dining out.”

The central government was carefully following the situation in the city and had supported efforts to contain the spread of the disease, he said.