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Hong Kong reports 16 new COVID-19 cases, 10,812 in total

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People wearing face masks buy vegetables at a market in Hong Kong, south China, Feb. 17, 2021. Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 16 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, taking its total tally to 10,812. (Xinhua/Lo Ping Fai)

HONG KONG, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) — Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 16 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, taking its total tally to 10,812.

The new cases included 12 local infections, of which 10 had an unknown origin. The four imported ones were from the Philippines, Austria and Pakistan. There were also 10 cases testing positive preliminarily, according to a CHP press briefing.

As Hong Kong has seen a decline in the number of new COVID-19 infections, local health authorities announced earlier that social distancing measures for some businesses can be relaxed from Thursday.

Premises including fitness centers, beauty parlors, entertainment premises will be allowed to reopen. Restaurants can extend dine-in services to 10:00 p.m. local time and raise the cap on the number of people per table from two to four.

Chui Tak-yi, undersecretary for food and health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, told the press briefing that these premises will have to comply with two additional requirements, which included keeping record of visitors' information such as names and phone numbers, and having their staff tested every 14 days.

According to Hong Kong's Hospital Authority, 301 COVID-19 patients are currently being treated in public hospitals and the community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo, and 20 patients are in critical condition.

A total of 189 COVID-19 confirmed patients have passed away in public hospitals so far. Enditem

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People wearing face masks do exercise outdoors in Hong Kong, south China, Feb. 17, 2021. Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 16 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, taking its total tally to 10,812. (Xinhua/Lo Ping Fai)

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