Hong Kong has recorded more than 5,000 daily Covid-19 infections for the first time since April. Meanwhile, six Hong Kong public figures, including the head of the city’s de facto central bank, have tested positive for Covid-19 in the space of two days.
Among the 5,020 Covid-19 infections reported on Thursday, 247 cases were imported. The city also recorded three new deaths. The last time Hong Kong saw over 5,000 daily Covid-19 infections was on April 1.
As the city saw a slight rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, a number of public figures announced they had contracted the virus. On Thursday, Privacy Commissioner Ada Chung, and the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary for Environment and Ecology Patrick Lee, said they had tested positive, while Political Assistant to the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Julian Ip tested preliminarily positive.
Director of the Fire Services Andy Yeung tested positive for Covid-19, the department announced on Thursday evening. Yeung was working on Thursday, and has entered isolation since.
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Eddie Yue, and Under Secretary for Labour and Welfare Jonathan Ho, both tested positive for Covid-19 through rapid antigen tests on Wednesday.
All of their offices were cleaned and disinfected following their diagnoses. Yue, Ho, and Chung were undergoing isolation in accordance with Centre for Health Protection’s guidelines, according to press statements published on Wednesday and Thursday.
Covid-19 patients in Hong Kong have to undergo at least seven days of quarantine, either at home, or at a government isolation facility.
From mid-July, people who quarantine have been required to wear an electronic wristband to ensure that they do not leave their households during the isolation period.
Hong Kong health code
Hong Kong’s own version of a mainland Chinese-style Covid-19 health code had entered the testing phase, and details would be announced soon, Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau said in an interview with Beijing-controlled newspaper Ta Kung Pao published on Wednesday.
People who test positive for Covid-19 and isolating at home would receive a “red code,” said Lo, while a “yellow code” would be given to incoming travellers in the first stage.
The government might expand the scheme for close contacts living together with Covid-19 patients to receive a “yellow code” as well, said the health secretary.
The scheme was announced as the government was looking into shortening the compulsory quarantine period for arrivals. All travellers coming into Hong Kong have to undergo at least seven days of isolation at one of the city’s designated quarantine hotels.
Update 7:28 p.m.: A sixth public figure texted positive for Covid-19 on Thursday evening after an initial version of this story was published. The headline and article have been updated to reflect the development.
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