TAIPEI Hong Kong’s leader said on Sunday that the government would consider lifting strict social distance measures as new COVID-19 infections in the city continued to decline.
“I do not want to promise now that there is room for adaptation,” said CEO Carrie Lam. “But after a review, we have a duty to take into account the results of this review and the direction we want to take.”
Hong Kong is in the midst of a massive eruption, registering over 1 million total cases in the city of 7.4 million. The city has been hit hard, with morgues full as they try to cope with a large number of deaths. Hong Kong has so far refrained from a strict city-wide shutdown such as those China regularly imposes to control the spread of the virus.
But new infections in the city have been declining. In early March, Hong Kong reported more than 50,000 new infections in one day. On Saturday, it registered 16,583 new cases.
“After reviewing the highlight that you have seen here … I think a responsible government should review these measures regularly and energetically to see if there is room for adjustment,” Lam said.
Lam said she would present the results on Monday.
A large majority of Hong Kong’s COVID-19 deaths have been among those not fully vaccinated, with many in the elderly population. The city has reported 5,437 deaths, according to Saturday’s data, which has far surpassed the death toll in China at 4,638.
Hong Kong, although part of China, is a special administrative region and counts its death toll separately.
Lam warned that the city could still see a resurgence of infections.
“The COVID situation is still serious, even though we have apparently reached the top and there is a downward trend,” Lam said. “But from wastewater monitoring, we can see that there may be a possibility of setbacks.”
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