“We are on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak, which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly,” the chief executive said.
Hong Kong was initially able to contain the virus despite being relatively close to the city of Wuhan in China, where infections were first detected in 2019. It was able to avoid imposing a lockdown while many other countries imposed restrictive social distancing measures, and even reopened Disneyland Hong Kong in mid-June.
However, new and stricter social distancing rules take effect in the city today, with a ban on gatherings of more than two people and the suspension of dine-in services.
Lam called on citizens to cooperate in order to protect the city. “I appeal to you to follow strictly the social distancing measures and stay at home as far as possible. If we stand united and work together, we can suppress this epidemic again.”