In recent weeks, the number of new coronavirus cases has gone up significantly in nearly all affected countries around the world including Hong Kong. In order to prevent new infections, Hong Kong is now imposing a heavy fine for not wearing a face mask in public.
The Chief Secretary of the country, Matthew Cheung, stated that people who will enter public spaces without a proper face covering may have to pay more than six hundred USD or five thousand Hong Kong dollars on Monday.
Although it is not clear how the new restrictions will work, Cheung insists that only people with appropriate reasons such as a medical condition due to which they cannot wear a face covering will be exempted.
The new rule will be imposed from the coming Wednesday and all people will be required to wear a face mask in public. This includes both indoor and outdoor places.
In addition to making face masks compulsory, Cheung also announced that the country will be building a new hospital near the airport specifically to accommodate coronavirus patients.
The hospital plan is likely to resemble that of the “Wuhan-style makeshift hospital ” and will have bedding and facilities for up to two thousand patients.
In a new statement, the Chief Secretary explained that the country in the country is, at the moment, critical and is potentially expected to worsen in the upcoming weeks. Therefore, Hong Kong must prepare for the new outbreaks of coronavirus infection as soon as possible.
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Although Hong Kong was one of the countries with the most successful coronavirus control strategic plans at the beginning of the pandemic, the local health authorities have reported a constant sixth-day increase in cases.
On Monday, one hundred new infections were diagnosed which have brought the country’s total number to two thousand and seven hundred. These new outbreaks have been deemed as the ‘third wave’ of the virus in the country.
The primary issue with the newest wave of coronavirus in Hong Kong is that the majority of the infections are untraceable. Before the Monday announcement of the new rule on face coverings, nearly twelve hundred new cases were reported.
Out of these cases, the teams were not able to trace back at least five hundred approximately. Such problems can be worrisome and can increase outbreaks even more as the origin of the infections is not known by health experts.
Read more on the efficacy of face masks in an epidemic here.
Along with the new rule regarding wearing a face mask in public, there are likely to be restrictions on gatherings as well. In accordance with preliminary reports, Hong Kong is likely to ban any gatherings with more than two people.
Although Hong Kong had followed the initial restrictions and rules for controlling the virus in the early days of the pandemic, there are plans to make the restrictions stricter as the number of new cases and the death toll continues to rise.
The health secretary of Hong Kong, Sophia Chan also announced that testing is likely to increase in the upcoming weeks to tackle the problems associated with tracing infections in the newest coronavirus outbreaks.