October 19, 2022
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Tuesday announced the easing of more social distancing measures, including allowing up to 12 people to gather in public, as the city reported 4,954 new cases.
In a statement on Tuesday night, the government said the Chief Executive in Council has approved raising the maximum number of persons allowed to meet in public places from four to 12 starting Thursday.
The government said the Chief Executive in Council has approved raising the maximum number of persons allowed to meet in public places from four to 12 starting Thursday
The government noted that the pandemic situation in Hong Kong has been stable since it peaked in early September.
“Although the number of new cases did not decline further but hovers around some 5,000 per day with a slight increase recently due to the emergence of new mutant strains of potentially higher transmissibility, the overall figures of hospitalized patients, severe cases and deaths remain at a stable level,” the government said.
“The public healthcare system can maintain the majority of its normal services while handling COVID-19 in-patient cases,” it added.
The other social-distancing measures to be relaxed include allowing live performances and dancing in catering premises, bars, pubs, clubs, nightclubs, cinemas, museums, as well as meeting rooms and function rooms in club houses and hotels or guesthouses if the performers undergo regular virus tests, wear masks, and keep an adequate distance from the audience.
Those who join dances must wear masks while dancing, the government said, adding that eating and drinking will also be allowed in outdoor areas of theme parks.
The new cases recorded on Tuesday include 4,566 locally-transmitted infections 388 imported ones, according to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health.
Among the locally acquired infections is a case involving the XBD strain, the CHP said in a statement.
Of the imported cases, the government identified 90, one, four, one, three and seven cases of sub-lineages XBB, XBD, BA.2.75.2, BA.4.6, BF.7 and BQ.1.1 respectively. Seven new COVID-related deaths brought the city’s death toll during the fifth wave to 10,072.
Sports centers to reopen
Meanwhile, seven sports centers managed by the LCSD will gradually reopen to the public between Nov 1 and Nov 15, with the public able to book their services six days before their reopening.
The listed facilities will include Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre, Harbour Road Sports Centre, Boundary Street Sports Centre No 2, Hiu Kwong Street Sports Centre, Java Road Sports Centre, Sai Wan Ho Sports Centre, and Lai Chi Kok Park Sports Centre.
Electrical and Mechanical Services Director tests positive
Eric Pang, Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, tested COVID-positive on Tuesday through a rapid antigen test, said a government spokesman.
Currently undergoing isolation, Pang last went to work on Monday, and he wore masks and followed relevant disease prevention measures at work, including conducting an RAT daily, the spokesman added.
Pang has no recent travel history, he noted.