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Hong Kong considers lockdown as daily infections top 34,000

HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong reported a record-high 34,466 new infections yesterday as deaths continued to climb, with health authorities saying that a lockdown has not been ruled out even though the city’s leader last week said that a citywide lockdown was unrealistic.

Hong Kong is currently grappling with the fifth wave of the coronavirus, driven primarily by the Omicron variant.

Yesterday more than 34,000 cases have more than quadrupled from a week ago, when the city reported over 7,500 infections.

“Once every three days the case number will double,” said Principal Medical and Health Officer of the city’s Centre for Health Protection Albert Au during a daily virus briefing.

“We think that the number will continue to climb.”

The city also reported 87 deaths yesterday. Of the 87 deaths, 67 were unvaccinated. Health authorities said there could be measures put in place by the government that may involve “asking people to stay at home”, and that it remains to be seen if such measures will be done via legislation or other means.

Hong Kong’s Health Minister Sophia Chan said during a radio programme yesterday that the government was “still discussing” the matter of a lockdown to reduce the flow of people and maximise the effectiveness of the mass-testing exercise.

Customers purchase antigen test kits at a market in Hong Kong. PHOTO: AP