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People wearing protective masks maintain social distancing while standing in line at a Community Testing Center in Hong Kong. (Bloomberg)
People wearing protective masks maintain social distancing while standing in line at a Community Testing Center in Hong Kong. (Bloomberg)

Hong Kong health experts warn of 'explosive Covid-19 outbreak'

  • Hong Kong's fourth wave started last month
  • 36 infections of unknown origin were recorded on Friday, the highest so far

Hong Kong: Hong Kong could face an 'explosive outbreak' of COVID-19, as cases and untraceable infections remained high, warned health officials on Saturday, as the government announced mandatory testing for all taxi drivers.

Centre for Health Protection (CHP) officials raised the alarm as 101 coronavirus cases were confirmed, the fourth time a triple-digit number was logged this week, reported South China Morning Post.

Infection clusters at dance clubs, care homes, a construction site and a private hospital continued to expand on Saturday, while untraceable infections remained high, at 29 cases.

Since the city's fourth wave started last month, 36 infections of unknown origin were recorded on Friday, the highest so far.

"The current state of the pandemic in Hong Kong, I can say, is very serious... If the situation continues, at some point we may encounter an explosive outbreak in the near future," said Dr Albert Au, from the centre's communicable disease branch, at a regular COVID-19 press briefing.

South China Morning Post reported that Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee ordered all taxi drivers who intended to work between December 25 and January 23 next year to get tested by December 22.

The Hospital Authority, meanwhile, urged residents to be patient and cooperate with medical professionals at health facilities, following an incident at St John Hospital in Cheung Chau on Thursday, where a resident had poured deep throat saliva samples on a desk in a nurse's room after being told the deposit time for the day was over.

The latest figures pushed the city's COVID-19 tally to 6,802, with 112 deaths.

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