A staff member wearing a face mas and holds a thermometer at the entrance of a store in Hong Kong. Reuters
Hong Kong will impose strict new social distancing measures from midnight Tuesday, the most stringent in the Asian financial hub since the coronavirus broke out, as authorities warn the risk of a large-scale outbreak is extremely high.
The Chinese-ruled city recorded 48 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, including 40 that were locally transmitted, health authorities said. Since late January, Hong Kong has reported over 1,500 cases and eight deaths.
"Half of the reported cases today have unknown sources. It is very worrying because the cases can spread easily in the community," said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, a senior health official.
The new social distancing measures make face masks mandatory for people using public transport and restaurants will no longer provide dine-in services and only offer takeaway after 6 pm.
Both are new rules that were not implemented during the city's first and second coronavirus waves earlier this year. If a person does not wear a mask on public transport, they face a fine of HK$5,000 ($645).
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Monday the government would limit group gatherings to four people from 50 - a measure last seen during a second wave in March.
Twelve types of establishments including gyms and places of amusement must shut for a week.
The government said it is very concerned about the high number of imported cases and planned to impose further measures on travellers from high-risk places, including securing mandatory negative test results before arrival.
Lam said the measures were the result of a three-way tug of war between considerations related to public health, economic impact and social acceptability and that the city may need to co-exist with the virus for a period of time.
Ahead of new measures, some supermarkets imposed restrictions on items including rice, face masks and toilet paper, local media reported. Panic stricken residents had emptied shelves in major supermarkets across the city in February as fears escalated over the coronavirus.
More than 13.02 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 569,336 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
The Sharjah Police stated that non-compliance with wearing masks, and gatherings top the list of reports received through the reporting platforms that have been made available to the public, stressing the need to adhere to precautionary measures, and to report violations and abuses through its channels designated for individuals so that deterrent legal measures are taken against violators.
As part of its intensified testing campaign, MoHAP records 2,613 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 410,849.
This was announced by the Crisis, Disaster and Emergency Management Team in Ajman. The decision has taken effect starting from Tuesday.
The 37-year-old practising Muslim will succeed Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) and, subject to a vote in the Scottish parliament, take over as head of the semi-autonomous government.
Workers from a range of sectors in Israel launched a nationwide strike on Monday, threatening to paralyse the economy as they joined a surging protest movement against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the judiciary.
Rain of varying intensity fell on separate areas across the country and active and sand-stirring winds blew on Monday, lowering the horizontal visibility.
The UAE PP explained that pursuant to Article 25, whoever intentionally destroys a public, historical, national and private document, shall be sentenced to detention for a minimum term of eight months, and a fine of no less than Dhs40,000