Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warned of the possibility of a large COVID-19 outbreak in the city and encouraged residents to stay indoors as new restrictions take effect in the city.
“We are on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak that could lead to a decline in our hospital system and costs, especially of the elderly,” Lam said in a statement late Tuesday. According to Reuters.
He said, “To protect our loved ones, our healthcare staff and Hong Kong, I appeal to you to strictly abide by social away measures and stay home as far as possible.”
Lem’s comments come to enforce the city. New Coronovirus Restrictions Starting Wednesday, including a ban on the gathering of more than two people and a ban on indoor food in restaurants. Hong Kong also implemented a mandate for a face mask to be worn in public, including on the outside.
The sanctions followed an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past three weeks, with 106 new cases confirmed on Tuesday. Since January, according to Reuters, 2,880 coronavirus infections and 23 deaths have been reported in Hong Kong.
The prohibition of indoor dining comes in the form of some restaurants in the semi-autonomous city that vacate their places to move to more affordable areas and save on rent after the economic downturn caused by the epidemic, South China Morning Post reported.
Hong Kong prohibited dining after 6pm, but further limits are expected to incite more businesses to follow suit in walking. According to the South China Morning Post, about 16,000 restaurants in the city are struggling financially after the city imposed its first ban in March.