Published: 17:23, December 16, 2020 | Updated: 07:58, June 5, 2023
HK sees 82 new cases, more than 80 test preliminarily positive
By Wang Zhan

An elderly man donning face mask rests on a bench at Langham Place, Hong Kong, Aug 14, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG/CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong reported 82 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including 79 locally transmitted ones, pushing the city’s tally to 7,803.

Thirty-five of the fresh infections were untraceable, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease bureau, said at a press briefing. 

The government will provide a free coronavirus test for the city’s foreign domestic helpers starting Thursday after at least 10 helpers were found infected recently

Wednesday is the sixth straight day the city recorded fewer than 100 cases, but the number of untraceable cases remained at the high as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region grapples with its fourth wave of infections.

ALSO READ: HK reports 98 new infections as coronavirus claims 3 more lives

The HKSAR government will provide a free coronavirus test for the city’s foreign domestic helpers starting Thursday, according to Chuang, as at least 10 helpers were found infected recently, raising concerns over new family clusters.

There were also more than 80 preliminarily positive patients on Wednesday, Chuang added.

She said new cases continued springing up in the city’s residential estates, including Jat Min Chuen Ming Yan Lau in Sha Tin, Lung Poon Court Lung San House in Wong Tai Sin and Choi Wan (II) Estate Ming Lai House in Ngau Chi Wan. 

Several lawmakers questioned the government’s reluctance to roll out a new universal testing program to eradicate hidden transmissions during a meeting on Wednesday morning. 

ALSO READ: CE warns fourth wave could well take a serious turn

But Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee, citing health experts, said that mass testing will not be effective if a lockdown is not implemented at the same time.

She added that a citywide lockdown for weeks is not feasible for populous Hong Kong.

Also on Wednesday, Guangdong provincial health authorities revealed that Zhuhai saw a new imported case from the HKSAR. 

The 25-year-old woman entered Zhuhai via Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge on Dec 5 and was quarantined. She tested negative for the virus twice on Dec 5 and 6, but developed symptoms on Monday and was confirmed infected the next day.

Since Dec 1, the Chinese mainland has detected in Beijing, Shenzhen and Zhuhai at least seven imported cases from the HKSAR.

In a statement on Tuesday, the government detailed the arrangement for inbound travelers starting Dec 22. 

People who arrive in the HKSAR from foreign countries and regions can only choose one of the 36 designated hotels for two weeks of mandatory quarantine. The hotels cannot accept guests other than those travelers, the government said.

READ MORE: CE: HK to receive 1st batch of COVID-19 vaccine in Jan 2021

From Dec 21, those travelers must provide to their airlines confirmation of room reservation in a designated quarantine hotel before boarding or they will be refused to board their flight, it added.

Six hotels designated as quarantine hotels starting Dec 18 include Dorsett Tsuen Wan\; Dorsett Wanchai; Mojo Nomad Aberdeen Harbour; Regal Oriental Hotel; The Kimberley Hotel; and The Kowloon Hotelare.