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Hong Kong reports its largest jump in coronavirus cases

Hong Kong reports its largest jump in coronavirus cases
© getty

Hong Kong on Friday reported 48 new cases of the coronavirus, the largest jump in cases for the semi-autonomous Chinese region to date.

Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection said that 36 out of the 48 new cases were people who had traveled abroad, sparking concerns that a second wave of the virus could hit, the South China Morning Post reported.

“As some of the cases had travel history a few days before … with the incoming number of residents returning to Hong Kong, we may see a high number of cases for at least two weeks or more,” Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the center's communicable disease branch, told the paper.

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Hong Kong University Professor Gabriel Leung noted that residents shouldn't let their guard down just because mainland China, where the virus originated, appears to have turned the corner.

“This is the worst time to relax because we’re at the highest risk since this began,” he said.

“It is absolutely critical, especially as we have this influx of Hong Kong returnees starting from a few days ago and continuing for the next few days. This is the highest risk and we must be extra vigilant," he added.

More than 13,000 people arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday, the majority of them permanent residents of the region.

According to the Morning Post, there are 256 confirmed cases of the virus in Hong Kong.