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Hong Kong suspends face-to-face classes amid worsening pandemic

Members of the mainland medical support team arrive

Hong Kong, Nov 20 (UITV/IANS)- Face-to-face classes for grade 1-3 primary school students in Hong Kong will be suspended from November 23 to December 6 as the Covid-19 situation in the city has worsened rapidly, the government said on Friday.

Hong Kong reported another 26 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Friday, including 21 local infections, Xinhua news agency quoted Sophia Chan, secretary for food and health, as saying.

The outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infections have been reported in quite many primary schools and kindergartens over the recent weeks.

Chan pointed out that the transmission routes of upper respiratory tract infections and Covid-19 are similar, and if the virus spreads at schools, the risk posed to the community is very high.

If the situation worsens, face-to-face classes for other grades will also be suspended, she added, appealing to the public to be extra vigilant against the virus and avoid unnecessary gatherings.

Chan said people having symptoms, taxi drivers and care home workers will be arranged to take compulsory tests as soon as possible.

The government is also adding mobile sampling kiosks and dispatching more sampling bottles to residents in buildings and communities with relatively more confirmed cases.

As of Friday, Hong Kong's overall Covid-19 caseload and death toll stood at 5,518 and 108, respectively.