Despite rising Covidi cases, Hong Kong will not tighten virus restrictions before July 1 because hospitals are not full, said outgoing chief executive Carrie Lam.
“The increase in the number of positive cases has not put unbearable pressure on the health system and has contributed to the nature of the omicron,” Lam said Tuesday in his final weekly press conference, which ends June 30.
Hong Kong reported 737 new infections on Monday, less than 800 on Saturday and Sunday, but more than double since May. Of the 371 people hospitalized with Kovid, only three were in intensive care, while other patients reported asymptomatic or mild infections, Lam said.
Based on that situation, he said, “until the end of June, we will not make any significant adjustments or rests.” And limitations on large gatherings.
Finding a balance
Lam said Hong Kong needed to find a balance between “dual objectives” that would unleash important international border controls on its reputation as a financial center and create the right conditions for resuming quarantine-free travel with the mainland. China is still pursuing a strict Covid Zero policy that seeks to eliminate all cases, sending communities into lockdown over a small number of mild infections.
While Lam acknowledged that Hong Kong was forced to cancel the seven-day Hotel Quarantine, which was mandatory for incoming travelers, Mr Lam said he could not ease the plans without knowing his successor, John Lee.
If we loosen the quarantine rules tomorrow, “but in two weeks the new government decided that perhaps it needs to go back to a more tighter approach, which would cause a lot of confusion,” Lam said.
Lee’s tenure begins on July 1, the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s extradition from the British to China’s administration – an important event believed to be preparing to travel to the city to identify if President Xi Jinping met favorable conditions.
Lam did not confirm whether the city’s rising number of cases will prevent a Chinese leader from visiting Hong Kong, marking his first trip outside China since January 2020.
“We, of course, want to have a cheerful atmosphere to celebrate reunification,” he said.
This story was published by Wire Agency Feed without modification to the text. Only the title has been changed.