Hong Kong, Third Wave of Coronavirus Pandemic Ebbs, to Ease the Laws of 28 August

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The Hong Kong government extended the strict social distancing rules of the city for another two days, before loosening some restrictions from Friday, as local Covid-19 transmissions have been lowering in the last few weeks.

If there are dramatic improvements to the outbreak situation over the next two days, dining-in services at eateries will be extended from Friday from the existing 6 pm to 9 pm, each table being limited at two patrons. If there are dramatic improvements to the outbreak situation over the next two days, dining-in services at eateries will be extended from Friday from the existing 6 pm to 9 pm, each table being limited at two patrons. Some companies previously forced to shut down will now be permitted to re-open, including cinemas, beauty parlours and some sports premises.

The compulsory mask-wearing rule remains but exemptions would be allowed for people participating in parks, as well as for those engaged in strenuous outdoor exercise. Tuesday’s announcement comes as the social distancing laws are due to expire at midnight-the strictest so far in the city’s efforts against the coronavirus.

Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan said the number of regular cases has dropped but stressed that the town is not yet out of the woods. Nevertheless, under the new standard, it is almost difficult for us to wait until there are no more local cases until the social distancing steps are relaxed, and unless there are dramatic changes in the disease situation, we will be providing new directions until Friday.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam hit back earlier in the day at health experts opposing the standardized testing system-a move she claimed is politically motivated. Many medical professionals have raised concerns in recent days about the feasibility of the free studies that would be carried out with the help of a mainland medical team.

The critics noted that the experiments would not contain the outbreak and could theoretically increase transmission prospects through mass exercise. The decision to ease rules comes on the back of the pandemic’s third wave of lower new infections in the region. Hong Kong ‘s reported Covid-19 count has gradually declined to nine new infections from the peak of more than 100 three weeks ago. Among those nine, seven transmissions were local. Researchers noted that patients who get re-infected can spread the virus to others and make the containment of the pandemic harder.

Related Article: https://www.theasianaffairs.com/asean-news/2020/08/22/mass-testing-for-covid-19-to-begin-in-hong-kong-on-september/

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