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Schools suspend classes until after Christmas as Covid-19 cases surge to 115

30 November 2020

By The SUN 

Schools will be closed from Dec 2 because of the spike in cases

Face-to-face classes in all kindergarten, primary and secondary schools will be suspended from Wednesday until after the Christmas holidays, the government announced today, Nov 29, as Hong Kong reported 115 new coronavirus cases.

The Education Bureau said that during the period of suspension, schools will be required to sustain students’ learning from home through the flexible use of various learning modes.

The announcement comes as the Centre for Health Protection said the epidemic situation has worsened  and urged the public to avoid social gatherings.

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"With the rapid surge in cases, many of them having been to gatherings, weekly family gatherings, for example, or gatherings with some friends, you see the epidemic has turned for the worse, so we urge the people to consider if they can maybe cancel or put on hold these gatherings,” CHP's Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said.   

Of today’s cases, 62 were linked to the dance venue cluster, 23 others were linked to other cases, 24 had untraceable sources, and six were imported, Chuang said.

Of the six who recently arrived from overseas, four were Indonesian domestic workers , two of whom are aged 25, one is 26, and the other is 32. The two others flew in separately from Ukraine and the United States.

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Chuang said there were more than 50 preliminary positive cases. The new infections brought the total number of patients since late January to 6,239. 

Today’s confirmed cases were the highest daily count since the 125 reported on Aug 1 at the height of the third wave of the contagion in Hong Kong.

 The dance cluster now accounts for a total of 479 confirmed cases.

This is one of 3 restaurants added to the mandatory test list after a rash of infections

Chuang said three restaurants, Stellar House in Wan Chai, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana in Central, and Chuen Cheung Kui in Sheung Wan, were added to the mandatory test list after three staff and seven customers there were confirmed positive today.

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“If you have been to these three restaurants after Nov 15, please do the test as soon as possible, probably tomorrow,” Chuang said. 

At the Tung Wah Hospital’s day care activity center, more than 50 residents and staff were quarantined after a staff member and a resident tested positive, Chuang said.

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Asked by a reporter about the cases with unknown sources, she replied many of them were housewives who hadn’t been out and about, while other patients were socially active - like playing mahjong and dining out - but with no visible links.

Chuang did not give details of the imported cases as the authorities’ focus appeared to be on the rapidly increasing local transmissions. However, the government has disclosed plans to further tighten restrictions at the border and impose harsher penalties on quarantine violators.

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As of 9am today, 12 Covid-19 confirmed patients were discharged from public hospitals in the last 24 hours, said Dr Linda Yu, a chief manager at the Hospital Authority. She said, so far, 5,340 patients with confirmed or probable infection have been discharged.

Yu said 642 confirmed patients are confined in 20 public hospitals and community treatment facilities. said 11 patients are in critical condition, three are in serious condition and the remaining 628 patients are in stable condition. 

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Hong Kong's total Covid-19 tally is now 6,239 with 109 deaths.

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