Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (centre) holds a press conference on measures to fight COVID-19 at the Central Government Offices, Tamar, Hong Kong, March 21, 2022. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY )
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Monday that although the fifth wave of outbreak seems to have passed its peak, the pandemic situation is still grave and most social-distancing measures will remain in place until April 20.
She added that if the outbreak is further contained, the measures will be gradually relaxed over the following three months after April 21.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the downward trend is not only reflected in daily infections, but also in sewage viral loads and the reproduction rate of the virus
Speaking at her daily COVID press meeting, Lam said the explosive growth in the number of infections has slowed recently and many experts regard the peak as likely over. The downward trend is not only reflected in daily infections, but also in sewage viral loads and the reproduction rate of the virus.
However, she still cautioned that the city’s pandemic situation remains severe, as the latest daily numbers of cases are still over 10,000.
To prevent a rebound, Lam said most social distancing measures will remain in place until April 20. The measures include bans on large public events, the operation of gyms and pubs, evening dine-in services at restaurants, and the two-person limit on gatherings.
If the pandemic continues to abate, the government will relax the restrictions in three phases from Apr 21, starting with the resumption of dine-in services at night and reopening fitness centers, according to Lam.
In the final phase, most restrictions will be lifted, but some basic requirements will be maintained, such as wearing masks in public venues, using the LeaveHomeSafe contact tracing app, and following the Vaccine Pass policy.
Lam said in the coming month, the government will concentrate resources on strengthening the treatment of COVID-19 patients and boosting vaccination rates among children and the elderly to reduce serious cases and deaths.
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