Once praised as a shining example of viral-suppression for the early and strict measures it took to seal its borders and implement strict test-and-trace protocols, Hong Kong has suffered a second wave of the outbreak that has intensified with dizzying speed.
Hong Kong reported 108 new infections confirmed over the past 24 hours on Sunday. Of these, 83 were locally transmitted and 25 were imported. The figure was its largest daily total since the start of the global outbreak late last year. Of the locally transmitted cases, 35 were tied to existing clusters or infected cases, including those who had dined at Windsor Restaurant in Tsz Wan Shan and at Tao Heung restaurant in Mong Kok.
Responding to the recent surge in new infections, which one of the city's leading epidemiologists attributed to a particularly virulent strain of the virus that's 30% more infectious, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that quarantine and isolation facilities will undergo a major upgrade to fortify the city's defenses against another resurgence.
Hong Kong was one of the first cities to report cases of the virus earlier this year. But it had pretty much suppressed local transmission by the beginning of June. But over the past 2 weeks, the virus has made a stunning comeback, facilitated, experts believe, by an influx of foreign travelers. Many fear the virus is now spreading undetected in the city of 7.5 million which is also one of the most densely populated places on earth.
During her speech on Sunday, Lam warned that more than 500 new infections had been confirmed over the past 2 weeks, bringing...