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Hong Kong tightens social distancing measures

Carrie Lam

Hong Kong, Nov 21 (UITV/IANS)- Hong Kong has moved to tighten social distancing measures in response to a resurgence in new Covid-19 cases, with the city's Chief Executive Carrie Lam describing the situation as "fairly severe".

The government said in a statement Saturday morning that live performance and dancing will be suspended in catering premises, including bars and nightclubs, and party rooms for holding social gatherings will be closed, reports Xinhua news agency.

The new measures will be effective for five days starting from Sunday.

Hong Kong reported another 26 new confirmed cases on Friday and more than 40 preliminary confirmed cases, which, a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said, indicated the existence of silent transmission chains in the community.

Lam also highlighted the severity in her Facebook post Saturday morning, saying more measures hammered out in a meeting held on Friday evening will be released soon.

The top priority is to cut the transmission chains through virus testing, she said, adding that she had asked related authorities to conduct compulsory testing for high-risk people.

On Friday, the government said face-to-face classes for grade 1-3 primary school students will be suspended for two weeks and the suspension of kindergartens will also be prolonged.

"The government is resolved to curb the epidemic," Lam added in her post.

As of Saturday, Hong Kong has reported a total of 5,518 coronavirus cases and 108 deaths.