HONG KONG - Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the city's current social distancing measures will be extended for another week, as the source of seven COVID-19 infections registered over the past week couldn't be traced.
She said it was understandable that during the National Day and Mid-Autumn Day holidays, many Hong Kong people haunted by an "anti-epidemic fatigue" had chosen to go out with family and friends, Lam told reporters ahead of a weekly Executive Council meeting. "But social activities will still add risks when the epidemic has not completely ended," she said.
Citing health data, she pointed out that the origin remained unknown for as many as seven of last week's 10 local infections, showing a worrying increase from only one such case the week before, and worse still, some infections had been linked to a pub.
She said the Hong Kong government was discussing with Macao and mainland authorities the possibility of exempting holders of a negative virus test result from a mandatory quarantine on both sides of the border.
Hong Kong currently has a ban on public gatherings of more than four people at a time and local restaurants are prohibited to offer dine-in service between 12 am and 5 am.
"We will need to maintain these measures for some time," Lam told reporters. "In other words, there will in general be no further relaxation."