No new COVID-19 case in HK after nearly 2 months

HONG KONG, Feb. 7, 2020 (Xinhua) — Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung (C) and major officials of relevant departments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government attend a press conference in Hong Kong, south China, Feb. 7, 2020. TO GO WITH “Mandatory quarantine for inbound travelers from Chinese mainland to take effect in Hong Kong” (Xinhua/Li Gang/IANS)

Hong Kong, April 20 (IANS) Hong Kong recorded no new coronavirus infections on Monday for the first time in nearly two months, although risks of imported cases remained.

Because of the lack of cases, the Department of Health and Hospital Authority have decided not to hold a daily press briefing, through which they have been providing virus-related information everyday at 4.30 p.m. since late January, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

As of Monday, Hong Kong has 1,025 coronavirus cases, with four deaths.

Hong Kong recorded its first case of COVID-19 infection on January 23, and the last time the city detected no new infections was on March 5.

The infection rate increased in March when overseas residents rushed back from Britain, the US, and Europe, bringing the virus back with them. But the surge has slowly dwindled, and Hong Kong has recorded single-digit cases for more than a week.

Meanwhile, a government source told the SCMP the Regal Oriental Hotel, in Kowloon City, had been turned into a quarantine centre, as health authorities had been trying to determine how to minimise the risk from residents returning to Hong Kong from overseas.

Officials had considered making travellers stay behind to get their test results before sending them home for further isolation.

Many of the hotel guests were forced to leave their rooms after a quick notice on Sunday night that it was to be used as a quarantine facility.

Guests would be transferred to another hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, according to a member of hotel staff.

A spokeswoman for the Regal Oriental Hotel confirmed to the SCMP that the government had requisitioned the whole hotel for quarantine purposes, but gave few details on who would be quarantined there, and for how long.

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