Health authorities confirmed 92 more coronavirus cases on Friday, the largest number of single-day infections since the fourth COVID-19 wave hit Hong Kong.
Among the new infections, 58 are related to a ballooning cluster linked to about two dozen dance venues in the city. To date, the number of cases in the the group totals 367, making it by far the largest cluster of related infections since the outbreak began.
17 are unlinked local infections, including a 14-year-old student. His secondary school, in Mong Kok, will suspend classes for two weeks as students and staff undergo COVID-19 testing.
Three of the new cases are imported infections from Nepal, Russia and Brazil.
“The numbers are rising and the local unlinked are also increasing. The epidemic is clearly worsening,” said Chuang Shuk-kwan, the head of the Center for Health Protection’s Communicable Disease Branch, during an afternoon press conference.
“Knowing this outbreak, we’ve appealed to the public to practice social distancing. It might take one or two weeks for us to see the effect [of that],” Chuang added, calling on people to refrain from taking part in gatherings.
Authorities said six patients are currently in critical condition, while another six are in serious condition.
New infections numbering in the 80s have been recorded in the past three days, including 81 yesterday.
The increase put the total number of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong at 6,040, with 108 patients having died of virus-related complications.
Hong Kong was recording over 100 cases a day during the peak of the city’s third COVID-19 wave in late July and early August. On July 30, authorities reported 149 infections, the largest number of cases in a single day to date.
Authorities have tightened virus restrictions in response to the growing outbreak. As of Thursday, bars and clubs have shut, and a ban on gatherings larger than four people is in place.