Hong Kong sees slight dip in new cases as city records 80 more infections

Photo via Hong Kong government Information Services Department
Photo via Hong Kong government Information Services Department

Hong Kong confirmed 80 more COVID-19 cases and two more virus-related deaths Monday. For a second day in a row, no imported infections were reported.

Among them, 66 have links to patients who had previously tested positive. A direct-selling company that has emerged as one of the newest virus clusters has recorded five more infections, bringing the number of cases linked to it to 37.

The new cases today represent the first time in 12 days that daily infections have fallen below 100. Since July 22, the city has recorded triple-digit increases, reaching an all-time high of 149 last Thursday.

But authorities cautioned against optimism. “We need to see for a few more days if there is really a downward trend because there could be some fluctuations every week,” said Chuang Chuk-kwan, the head of the Center for Health Protection’s Communicable Disease Branch

Two more COVID-19 patients have died of virus complications. An 84-year-old woman and 83-year-old man passed away earlier today, bringing the number of coronavirus-related fatalities to 37.

The recent surge in cases has left local authorities scrambling to contain the virus, which has already made its way to hospitals and over a dozen elderly homes.

Yesterday, a team of medical officials from mainland China arrived in Hong Kong to support efforts to ramp up mass COVID-19 testing. The seven officials are the first few of a 60-person team that has been deployed by Beijing upon the request of local authorities, which have acknowledged that the city’s resources here are stretched.

The government has denied claims that DNA data obtained during virus testing will be handed to mainland Chinese officials. “All anti-epidemic work done by the government completely complied with the requirements of the law,” a statement read, adding that it condemns the spread of false rumors.

Over the weekend, around 30 COVID-19 patients were admitted to a makeshift hospital at the Asia-World Expo. The temporary facility, with 500 beds, was built to house patients with mild coronavirus symptoms to ease the burden on the city’s public hospitals. The patients there are to measure their own temperature, blood pressure and other vitals, and consult with off-site nurses via video call daily.

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