HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported 73 new COVID-19 cases on Monday (Nov 23) as the government warned the epidemic in the densely populated city is rapidly worsening with silent transmission chains feared amid a rise in asymptomatic infections.
The city has so far managed to avoid the widespread outbreak of the disease seen in many major cities across the world, with numbers on a daily basis mostly in single digits or low double digits in recent weeks.
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Many of the latest cases are linked to dance clubs and the government has appealed to residents in affected areas to take a COVID-19 test to help contain the outbreak. Mobile testing stations have been set up in several districts.
“The local epidemic situation is worsening rapidly,” the government said in a statement. “Some of the confirmed cases are asymptomatic and this has indicated the existence of many silent transmission chains in the community.”
The jump in cases has caused a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore, due to launch on Sunday, to be postponed for two weeks.
Hong Kong has recorded 5,702 COVID-19 cases and 108 deaths since the pandemic began.
The government started to ease restrictions on dining, sports facilities and theme parks in September after a mass testing programme organised by the Chinese government.
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