Hong Kong reports 228 new Covid-19 cases as it slowly relaxes curbs

The daily case count in Hong Kong has dropped from a peak of more than 50,000 in March. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Hong Kong reported a total of 228 Covid cases on Saturday (May 21) as the city gradually reopens restaurants and allows more no-mask activities while guarding against the arrival of a possible sixth wave in the summer.

Of the new infections, 103 were detected through laboratory tests and 125 via rapid antigen tests, health authorities said at a briefing. There were 16 imported cases and the city reported no new virus-related deaths.

Hong Kong has been drifting away from the strict Covid Zero policy adopted by China as it slowly moves toward re-opening its borders. The daily case count in the city has dropped from a peak of more than 50,000 in March, while deaths have plunged from over 250 at their highest.

Still, authorities have warned residents to be vigilant and protect themselves against a possible sixth wave of the virus with the onset of summer.

The city plans to impose a vaccine pass requiring people to have at least two doses for access to non-emergency public healthcare premises from June 13, the government announced earlier on Saturday. The venues include specialist out-patient clinics operated by the Hospital Authority, and other health services such as centres for students, women, and dental and orthodontic care.

"Patients' welfare is the prime concern of the vaccine pass arrangement," the statement said. "The relevant administrative arrangements will not impede patients and the injured in need to receive emergency or urgent medical services."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.