Hong Kong is to ban dining in at restaurants and make mask-wearing compulsory in outdoor public places from Wednesday onwards, sources told local media.

The Executive Council approved the measures on Monday as the city recorded two more coronavirus-related fatalities – a 76-year-old female and 92-year-old male at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei. The death toll now stands at 20 with 2,633 infections.

Coronavirus virus covid-19 mask child
Photo: GovHK.

A hospital spokesperson said the female patient with a chronic condition tested positive for Covid-19 after she sought medical attention for a cough and abdominal pain last Tuesday. Her condition deteriorated and she passed away at 11:23 pm on Sunday. The male patient also had a chronic condition and was hospitalised on July 7 with a cough and shortness of breath. He passed away at 9:13 am on Monday.

The government has already tightened anti-epidemic restrictions by slashing the number of people allowed to gather in a group in public to four and ordering the public to wear masks indoors, following a surge in untraceable local infections.

First detected in Hubei province, China, Covid-19 has infected more than 16.2 million people and led to at least 648,900 deaths worldwide, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.