Hong Kong seeks vaccines as virus cases rise


Hong Kong authorities are stepping up efforts to procure vaccines as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

The business center has seen more than 100 infections over three consecutive days, including 112 on Thursday, bringing its total to 7,291, the Chinese daily Global Times reported on Friday.

The government, led by CEO Carrie Lam, has tasked Finance Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po with “accelerating the procurement of vaccines abroad and in mainland China.”

Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection (CHP) said most of the new infections were local, including some of “unknown origin”, and warned of “quiet chains of transmission in communities.”

Chui Tak-yi, a food and health official, said the outbreak “continues to be severe, with an increase in the number of confirmed cases and cooler weather that allows the virus to survive longer.”

About 75% of the negative pressure beds, or isolation, in the city’s hospitals have already been used, according to authorities.

Some 1,135 COVID-19 patients are being treated at 22 public hospitals and a community treatment center, and at least 43 patients are said to be in critical condition.

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