Hong Kong to Extend Airport Virus Testing to Asymptomatic Arrivals

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Hong Kong will extend Covid-19 testing to asymptomatic arrivals after a sharp rise in infections driven mainly by imported cases, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said.

The government will take other measures, including postponing university entrance exams and ordering civil servants to return to working from home, Lam told the media Saturday. The resumption of schools, which have been closed since the lunar new year in January, will be delayed until further notice, Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said at the briefing.

The number of infections has more than doubled in Hong Kong from two weeks ago after the government said it would quarantine visitors from outside China and more people returned to the city from virus-hit European countries. On Friday 48 infections were reported, the highest daily toll since the outbreak began.

“The epidemic caused by imported cases from overseas is more severe, more difficult to handle and more likely to cause large-scale, persistent community outbreak than any moment in the past two months of anti-epidemic efforts,” Lam said.

On Tuesday, the government said it was extending mandatory 14-day quarantines for all visitors arriving from outside of Greater China. The quarantine measures took effect on Thursday.

The city has 273 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with four deaths.

Macau urged its residents to avoid non-essential travel to Hong Kong as there has been a rise of confirmed cases there, Hong Kong-based broadcaster TVB reported, citing the Macau government.

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