WHO, Fauci and intel sources reject China lab theory; global deaths pass 250,000; Hong Kong suffers deepest economic contraction
Sitting in front of a screen reading hope on the horizon, Hong Kongs chief executive Carrie Lam has announced a relaxation of the citys social distancing laws.
Lam said the number of confirmed cases in Hong Kong stood at 1,041 with four fatalities, and 900 recovered patients had been discharged by the end of Monday. There have been no community transmission cases in more than two weeks.
Id like to thank all the frontline workers who have been involved in fighting the epidemic, as well as those behind the scenes and the public, she said, singling out members of the governments advisory panel.
I fully appreciate the government has not done a perfect job, but we kept learning and improving our measures.
Lam announced the easing of some of the strict laws that came into force over recent weeks when Hong Kong started to see a spike in imported cases. Restrictions on group gathering will be extended for another 14 days from Thursday, but relaxed to allow for restaurants to have eight people at a table (up from four).
Seven types of businesses forced to close can reopen, including games parlours and fitness centres, but must observe requirements including temperature checks and hand sanitisers. Some licensed venues can reopen, but only with limited numbers, and no live music or dancing is allowed.
In words likely to be welcomed by parents everywhere, Lam said: school parents and teachers have told us they are now ready, so we would like to arrange for classes to resume in a safe environment.
Schools have been closed since the Chinese New Year holiday, more than three months ago. Different grades will return at different times, although kindergarten to year two will not go back this year, she said.
Lam and her team are wearing a newly-developed type of reusable mask that is reportedly going to be provided to every resident in Hong Kong with a Hong Kong ID. Hong Kong residents have famously been wearing masks since the start of the epidemic, and faced shortages in January and February.