In this May 27, 2020 file photo, Hong Kong's middle school students back to public schools in Causeway Bay after a four-month class suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: China Daily)
Two medical specialists are recommending that the Hong Kong government adopt a curfew and perhaps even a lockdown as the city faces growing pressure to contain a worsening third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist in Hong Kong, said the authority should consider imposing a citywide curfew or a lockdown to prevent people from leaving their homes if the number of confirmed cases continues to rise in the next seven to 14 days.
In an interview with a local radio program, Yuen cautioned the public to put on their masks and not to relax before a vaccine is available.
David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory-medicine expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said in a different radio interview that lockdown measures might be necessary if current measures fail to improve the situation. Public hospitals in Hong Kong would be overwhelmed within a week if nearly 100 cases were added daily and if most have an unknown origin, he said. Seventy-three new infections were recorded on Monday.
The SAR government announced on Sunday that a series of social distancing measures will be extended until July 28, including mandatory mask-wearing in all indoor public areas and a ban on dining at restaurants from 6 pm to 5 am.
Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection's Communicable Disease Branch, on Monday said that in the 16 days from July 5 through Monday, 560 local infections were recorded, with about a third of the infections unlinked to confirmed cases or existing outbreaks, signaling that hidden chains of transmission are widespread. The city's tally of confirmed cases reached 1,958, including 12 related deaths.