71 new COVID-19 cases expected to be reported today in HK, the highest in more than 3 months

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22nd November 2020 – (Hong Kong) The COVID-19 epidemic has rebounded in Hong Kong. Sources confirmed that about 71 new confirmed cases were reported as of 12am today. It is expected that the Centre for Health Protection will hold a media conference this afternoon at 4.30pm to explain the details. As of yesterday (21st), a total of 5,561 confirmed cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong.

The government is expected to further tighten social distancing regulations soon to fight the epidemic.

The Government today exercised the power under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap. 599J) for the first time and published in the gazette a compulsory testing notice, which requires any person who had been present at 14 specified dance premises (see Annex) during the period from 1st to 21st November to undergo a COVID-19 nucleic acid test by 24th November.

A spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said, “The local epidemic situation is worsening rapidly. The number of confirmed cases of a cluster related to dancing activities and dancing venues continued to increase significantly in the past few days, with cases distributed all over the territory and some confirmed cases are asymptomatic. It indicates the existence of many silent transmission chains in the community. The Government must act swiftly. To cut the transmission chains as quickly as possible, the Centre for Health Protection has been tracing possibly infected persons who had been to the relevant dancing venues. Meanwhile, it is necessary for the Government to issue a compulsory testing notice targeting specified dance premises under Cap. 599J immediately, in order to require the relevant persons to get tested promptly to avoid delay in treatment.”

In addition, confirmed cases have been recorded in many districts recently. Dr.Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health said this morning that, ‘We will be increasing the number of testing centres in the coming week. Obviously, it will be in different districts in Hong Kong. On top of the five testing centres, we will also be assessing the situation of different districts. If there are a lot of cases in a particular district, not only are we putting on or setting up more centres, but we can, like what we have done in Tai Po District, we can set up mobile swabbing stations, or send mobile vans to distribute specimen bottles.’

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