COVID-19: Hong Kong orders mask to be worn in public

(Hong Kong) Hong Kong people will be required to wear the mask in public from Wednesday, authorities said on Monday, unveiling a battery of measures to deal with a new wave of coronavirus cases.

France Media Agency

“The epidemic situation is extraordinarily serious in Hong Kong,” deputy chief executive Matthew Cheung told reporters, announcing that public gatherings of more than two would be prohibited, and that restaurants would only be allowed for take-out.

Mr. Cheung also said Beijing has agreed to help Hong Kong build a field hospital to cope with the increase in cases.

The former British colony, very densely populated, was one of the first areas affected by the epidemic after its Chinese outbreak and initially recorded remarkable results against the coronavirus.

But the contaminations started to increase again a few weeks ago, which led the authorities to order new social distancing measures.

More than a hundred cases have been recorded daily over the last five days, bringing the total number of contaminations in the city of 7.5 million inhabitants to 2600, for 19 death.

Hence the decision to further strengthen the measures.

Wearing a mask – already widespread among the population – had become compulsory in public transport and in closed public places. Only take-away was allowed in restaurants in the evening.

“The central government has agreed to help us build a hospital that will have up to 2000 beds,” Cheung told reporters.