Hong Kong reports highest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases

Hong Kong reports highest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases
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Hong Kong reported its highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases on Sunday morning.

The city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters that 108 cases were recorded in one day, with 83 of them being local and 25 of them being imported. The new COVID-19 cases bring the total for the semi-autonomous city to 1,886, BBC News reported

"I think the situation is really critical and there is no sign the situation is being brought under control," Lam said.

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Lam announced new restrictions in response to the boost in cases, including mandating nonessential civil servants work from home and requiring face coverings in indoor public spaces.

The chief executive also vowed to conduct 10,000 tests per day for the city with 7.5 million people. 

The new restrictions follow last week’s, which closed bars, gyms and nightclubs and mandated face masks on public transport. Restaurants are not permitted to allow in-person diners after 6 p.m., BBC reported.

Hong Kong Disneyland announced its closure less than a month after reopening amid the government’s new restrictions, according to the news outlet. 

Hong Kong was able to combat the coronavirus after it’s believed to have originated in China late last year. But in the past two weeks, the city has counted more than 500 new cases, according to Yahoo News.

Twelve people have died from COVID-19 in the city.

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The rise in cases comes as China recently passed a national security law forbidding what its officials see as subversion, secession and collusion with foreign forces in Hong Kong, prompting criticism from the international community.

Officials have banned people from gathering for several pro-democracy meetings, including the vigil on the anniversary of Tiananmen Square on June 4 and the annual democracy rally on July 1.

Authorities cite the coronavirus as reasons to forbid the events, but supporters said they worry officials are using the pandemic as an excuse to stop the rallies.