Hong Kong reports 71 new COVID-19 cases, tightens quarantine measures for visitors

2020-12-25 08:44:09Xinhua Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download

China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Thursday announced stricter quarantine measures for visitors from places outside China as Hong Kong still faced a severe epidemic situation with 71 new cases reported on the day.

Starting Friday, visitors who have been to places outside China over the past 21 days will be put in quarantine for 21 days, instead of the current 14 days, in designated hotels, the HKSAR government said in a statement.

A government spokesperson said the new policy is adopted as the incubation period of the coronavirus in a small minority of patients could be longer than 14 days.

Besides, Hong Kong will also deny entry of visitors who have stayed in South Africa for more than two hours over the past 21 days to prevent the import of a new strain of COVID-19. The government imposed a similar policy on visitors from Britain earlier this week.

Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 71 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, taking its total tally to 8,424.

The new cases included 61 local infections, with 30 cases of unknown origin, according to a CHP press briefing. Three out of 10 imported cases were from Britain. There were also about 50 preliminary cases.

According to Hong Kong's Hospital Authority, 66 percent of the negative pressure beds have been occupied so far. Currently, 985 COVID-19 patients are being treated in public hospitals and the community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo, and 61 are in critical condition. The death toll stands at 135.

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