Despite the “zero COVID-19” policy, Hong Kong registered new daily COVID-19 cases on Saturday, officials said.
According to official figures, 351 confirmed cases were counted on Saturday, the fifth day of the lunar New Year holiday, the highest since the outbreak began.
“Based on the growth rate of the current cases, we estimate that the‘ isolated ’facilities will not soon be able to accommodate all patients for self-isolation, Health Minister Sofia Chan told reporters.
He called on Hong Kongers to stay home to slow the spread of the virus, but a sewage test said the virus had already been detected in most parts of the city.
Health officials have promised to ease isolated rules for contact cases, suggesting that Hong Kongers can isolate themselves at home according to their level of risk.
Officials said it would relieve hospital beds and cause mild symptoms of the omigran variant, which has led to most new cases in Hong Kong.
Like China’s mainland, Hong Kong has adopted a “zero COVID-19” strategy, which includes drastic reduction of entry into the territory, detection of cases and massive screenings.
This approach has kept the level of pollution very low, but it has greatly cut off this financial hub from the rest of the world.
Since appearing in the soil of the highly contagious Omigron variant, Hong Kong has tightened its travel restrictions by closing borders to eight countries and barring travelers from 153 countries from passing through Hong Kong.
Compulsory hotel isolation for travelers from abroad is one of the longest in the world, meanwhile has been reduced from three weeks to two weeks.
Since the outbreak, more than 15,000 confirmed corona virus cases and 213 deaths have been reported in Hong Kong.