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Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam says covid curbs to remain ‘for some time’

Lam argued that there was still evidence of silent pockets of infection, since more than half of the cases discovered since Sept. 30 were of unknown origin. She didn’t provide any time frame for lifting the outbreak-control measures, which were set to expire Thursday.

By: Bloomberg | October 6, 2020 8:39:01 am
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (AP/File)

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said there would be “no further relaxation” of coronavirus measures for the time being, as authorities continue to find infections of unknown origin.

“We will need to maintain these measures for some time,” Lam told a weekly news conference Tuesday before a meeting of her advisory Executive Council. “In other words, there will in general be no further relaxation.”

Hong Kong has extended outbreak control-measures for weeks, including limiting gatherings at no more than four people, despite a sharp decline in cases. The policies have drawn complaints from the hard-hit hospitality sector, as well as democracy activists, since the restrictions have been used to limit protests against the government.

Lam argued that there was still evidence of silent pockets of infection, since more than half of the cases discovered since Sept. 30 were of unknown origin. She didn’t provide any time frame for lifting the outbreak-control measures, which were set to expire Thursday.

Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan was expected to brief reporters on the latest measures later Tuesday.

“It was totally understandable to see many citizens go out during the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival long holidays,” Lam said, referring to the previous four-day weekend. “But social activities will still add risks when the epidemic has not completely ended.”

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