May 29, 2022
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Hong Kong’s zero-COVID policy undermining financial hub status — industry group 

Hong Kong transport operators, supermarkets cut services as COVID cases surge

 – Hong Kong‘s subway operator, bus companies and one of the city’s largest grocery store chains mentioned they had been decreasing services this week because of a worsening COVID-19 outbreak that has seen day by day infections explode since early February.

The most recent strains got here as Hong Kong authorities clung firmly to their “dynamic zero” coronavirus technique which, like mainland China’s seeks to curb all outbreaks at any price.

The worldwide monetary hub’s Transport Division mentioned 98 bus routes can be suspended with operators dealing with crucial manpower shortages.

An increase of contaminated folks coupled with a drop in prospects because of stringent social distancing measures made it arduous to keep up operations, it mentioned in an announcement late on Wednesday.

Town’s subway operator MTR Corp 0066.HK, recognized for its effectivity, mentioned on Thursday it will cut services on eight traces due to employees shortages and a pointy drop in prospects.

“We have been striving to maintain train service despite the worsening COVID-19 situation. However, the latest development of the pandemic is affecting the manpower for daily operations,” it mentioned on its web site.

ParknShop, one of many metropolis’s largest grocery store chains, mentioned it was shortening opening hours for greater than 200 shops to guard its employees and prospects. Some shops would shut as early as 3 p.m., it mentioned.

For the reason that pandemic started in 2020, the tally of infections within the Chinese language-ruled metropolis stands at greater than 290,000, with a dying toll of about 1,100.

About 700 of these deaths have been previously week, with the bulk unvaccinated folks.

Well being consultants from the College of Hong Kong estimated about 1.7 million folks had been already contaminated by Monday, with the approaching week anticipated to convey a peak of about 183,000 day by day infections.

There was widespread confusion and chaos amongst many residents this week as a result of authorities’s combined messaging over whether or not a city-wide lockdown would happen and the virtually day by day tweaking of coronavirus guidelines.

Hong Kong‘s worldwide popularity had been “very damaged” by the complicated messages, creating alarm, mentioned distinguished businessman and authorities adviser Allan Zeman. – Reuters

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