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Hong Kong reports 100 new COVID-19 cases, exceeding 7,000 in total

A pedestrian walks past the Golden Bauhinia Square in south China's Hong Kong, Dec. 8, 2020. Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 100 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, taking its total tally to 7,075. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

  A pedestrian walks past the Golden Bauhinia Square in south China's Hong Kong, Dec. 8, 2020. Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 100 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, taking its total tally to 7,075. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

HONG KONG, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) — Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 100 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, taking its total tally to 7,075.

The new confirmed cases included 95 local infections, with 27 cases of unknown origin. Thirteen of the local cases were related to a dancing cluster which has caused more than 660 infections so far, according to a CHP press briefing.

There were other clusters across the territory, which appeared in a public housing estate, a department store and a construction site. Two of the halls of the community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo also reported an outbreak, with 12 members of the working staff infected so far.

Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said in a press conference on Tuesday that social distancing measures in Hong Kong will be tightened starting from Dec. 10 until Dec. 23.

Apart from closure of bars, bathhouses, amusement game centers, swimming pools and theme parks under the anti-epidemic measures, business premises including fitness centers, beauty parlors, massage establishments will also need to be closed. Dine-in services in restaurants after 6 p.m will be banned.

Other existing measures such as group gathering of no more than two people and mandatory mask-wearing in public areas will remain in force. Work from home arrangements among civil servants will be strengthened, Chan said.

A legal framework has been adopted by the Executive Council of the HKSAR to allow local health authorities to seal off high-risk premises to conduct COVID-19 testing, with the aim of minimizing the chance of spreading the virus into the community, she said.

According to Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority, 78 percent of the negative pressure beds have been utilized so far. Currently, 1,135 COVID-19 patients are being treated in 22 public hospitals and the community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo, and a total of 38 patients are in critical condition. Enditem

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