GUANGZHOU, July 30 (Xinhua) - Zhong Nanshan, a renowned Chinese respiratory expert, has called for adopting stringent anti-virus measures in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), where daily reports of new COVID-19 cases have continued.
(File photo: CFP)
Currently, the prevalence and death rate of COVID-19 in Hong Kong are approximately 37 per 100,000 and 0.7 per 100,000, respectively, which are not particularly high figures, said Zhong in an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday.
Hong Kong reported 118 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, marking the eighth straight day on which the daily additional cases in Hong Kong surpassed 100.
The epidemic was well under control in Hong Kong from February to April, said Zhong. "But every day since July 18, with a few exceptions, the daily number of new COVID-19 cases has soared above 100, with a peak of 145."
Community transmission is already taking place in Hong Kong, but the expert said the city has not seen the exponential growth of new cases seen in some Western countries, thanks to government and social interventions.
Starting from Wednesday, dine-in services in restaurants have been prohibited and mask-wearing has been made compulsory in all public places in Hong Kong, both indoors and outdoors. The social gathering limit has also been lowered from four to two people.
Zhong also recommended that Hong Kong strengthen nucleic acid testing, especially screening for asymptomatic carriers, who may be highly contagious.
"My advice is a Hong Kong-wide nucleic acid screening, instead of just in Wong Tai Sin District. Early detection and early isolation help reduce human-to-human transmission," he said.