Hong Kong officials warn of a new wave of infections

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Commuters await a bus in Mongkok, while maintaining social distancing in Hong Kong, China, on August 3, 2020. (Photo by Marc Fernandes/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A Hong Kong health official said Thursday that the city was considering options for mandatory testing as it prepared for a new wave of coronavirus infections.

“From a public health perspective, if we think that if testing is needed and people are not willing to take a test, that hinders our work,” said Sophia Chan, the health secretary.

She said the authorities were considering legal options for mandating testing if necessary, while acknowledging that members of the public might have concerns about any such arrangement.

Last month Hong Kong eased some restrictions, allowing gyms and massage parlors to reopen and expanding the limit on group gatherings to four people. But health authorities say they are preparing for another possible spike in infections.

“We don’t think the situation is looking good because of the increased number of confirmed cases,” said Ms. Chan.

She noted that research by the University of Hong Kong showed the rate of the coronavirus spread was increasing once again. On Thursday, Hong Kong reported 18 new coronavirus cases, including 14 of which were locally transmitted.

NYTIMES

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