Health personnel work at a Covid-19 coronavirus testing centre in Hong Kong. File/AFP
The Hong Kong government said on Tuesday it will extend work from home arrangements for civil servants by a week until Jan.27 as the global financial hub seeks to contain a rise in coronavirus infections into triple digits.
On Monday, Hong Kong reported 107 new cases of coronavirus, the highest number in nearly a month, fuelling concern over a new wave of infections in the densely populated city where businesses are already reeling from restrictions.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said at a press briefing on Tuesday that social distancing measures due to expire this week will be extended in a bid to contain the outbreak.
COVID-19 restrictions in the densely populated city include a ban on in-house dining after 6pm local time (1000 GMT) and the closure of facilities such as gyms, sports venues, beauty salons and cinemas.
Hong Kong, with around 7.5 million people, has one of the highest population densities in the world.
“Persistently high and spreading infection [in the areas] and sewage surveillance suggest the outbreak is not yet under control, and many silent sources still exist within the area,” a source was quoted as saying.
A year ago, India had observed what Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a people’s curfew, marking the start of a chaotic nationwide lockdown in a bid to contain the virus. With 11.6 million cases, India is now the worst-affected country after the United States and Brazil.
The country has seen record new cases in three of the past five days, while the infections reported in the past 10 days accounted for a tenth of its total of 702,856 cases.
India’s overall caseload of 12.04 million - the world’s biggest outside the United States and Brazil - had been falling steadily since a peak in late September, but increased public gatherings and travel are causing a spurt at a time when a majority of Indians are yet to be vaccinated.
Britain, like much of Europe, is suffering from rocketing inflation and stagnant economic growth, raising the prospect of a summer of strikes across the continent.
Civil Defence teams of Sharjah controlled, on Saturday evening, a fire which broke out at a vehicle workshop in the Industrial Area 4 in Sharjah. No injuries were reported.
In a heroic scene, an Omani man rescued two children from certain death in the Sultanate of Oman on Friday, after they were swept away by violent surface run-off in a valley in Bahla.