(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)

 

The Government needs to be prudent in its anti-epidemic work despite a recent downward trend in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, Under Secretary for Food & Health Dr Chui Tak-yi said today.

 

Speaking at a press briefing, Dr Chui said the number of COVID-19 cases had dropped by half over the last three weeks as measured by the seven-day average.

 

“There is a trend showing a decreasing number of newly confirmed cases in the past few weeks. On the other hand, for the third wave, I think we all know it has lasted for about 10 weeks already – from the start in early July – and the decrease in numbers is kind of slow.

 

“We still have 10 cases (daily) on average per week, so that is a number that we cannot take very lightly.”

 

Dr Chui also noted that the Government was cautious in announcing the relaxation of social distancing measures earlier this week, as its prime consideration was to prevent a rebound of the third wave.

 

“As there is a need for some relaxation due to a prolonged period of very strong suppression, the Government has taken stepwise and cautious measures in relaxing some social distancing measures. That is what we have announced in the past two weeks and for the coming week.

 

“We will consider a basket of factors, apart from just (considering) the number of new cases per day or per a particular week. We also would like to know any unusual or unexpected rise in clustering (and) in different patterns of the community spread.

 

“Also, (regarding) the relaxation (of social distancing measures), because we do not want to have any rebound after the relaxation of the last phase, it will take some time to observe (the situation.) So, we have to be very cautious.”

 

From tomorrow, the maximum number of people allowed to be seated at one table at catering business premises will be increased from two to four and more scheduled premises will be allowed to reopen.