HONG KONG — As Covid-19 cases spiraled and elderly Hong Kong residents lay on gurneys outside overwhelmed hospitals, Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng summoned the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, to a closed-door meeting in the mainland city of Shenzhen.
Mr. Han, Beijing’s highest-ranking official overseeing Hong Kong affairs, passed on a direct order from President Xi Jinping:
The city’s government must bring the outbreak under control within weeks, ahead of a planned visit to the city by the Chinese leader to mark the 25th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Beijing’s rule on July 1, said people familiar with the meeting … READ MORE [subscription may be required]
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong on Friday reported another sharp jump in new COVID-19 cases to more than 10,000 in the latest 24-hour period as it battles its worst outbreak of the pandemic.
The new daily case count reached 10,010, health officials said, after topping 6,000 last week and 8,000 earlier this week in a spiraling outbreak.
The city has been reporting about 50 deaths a day, many among the unvaccinated elderly.
The government has announced plans to test everyone in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of 7.4 million people next month as it tries to adhere to a zero-COVID policy modeled on the strict mainland China approach.
Mainland experts and builders are putting up temporary testing facilities and constructing isolation centers to handle the burgeoning caseload.
The zero-COVID approach requires the isolation of anyone who tests positive, even without symptoms, to prevent spread.
Hong Kong started a vaccine pass system this week, requiring people entering shopping malls, restaurants, gyms and other premises to be vaccinated.
The requirement has driven many who weren’t vaccinated to get the shot.