Most of Hong Kong’s 180,000 civil servants will work from home next week and the compulsory wearing of masks is being extended to cover public indoor areas, with the city facing a daily high of more than 100 confirmed coronavirus cases, sources said on Sunday.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam is expected to announce her latest response to the virus’s resurgence in the city with her ministers in the evening, reports the South China Morning Post newspaper.
“The government will only provide essential and emergency services, going back to the service level in February,” a newspaper report quoted an informed source as saying.
Another source said the government was also expected to announce that the compulsory wearing of masks would be extended to cover public spaces indoors.
Current regulations impose a requirement to wear masks on public transport.
On Saturday, there were 64 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 60 others which were preliminary, with one of the largest clusters found at Tsz Wan Shan in Kowloon.
The city’s official COVID-19 total on Saturday surged to 1,777 ï¿½ surpassing the 1,755 infections it recorded during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) epidemic in 2003.
On Sunday, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said that social-distancing measures were likely to be continued.
Also on Sunday, a government spokesman insisted that the quarantine exemption for some people entering Hong Kong, including airline and cruise crews, was necessary, after a respiratory medicine expert suspected it had created a loophole to allow asymptomatic cases into the community.