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Hong Kong bans flights from 8 countries amid Omicron spread. Check details

Hong Kong bans flights from 8 countries amid Omicron spread. Check details

With a fresh resurgence of coronavirus cases following the detection of its highly transmissible Omicron variant, Hong Kong banned flights from eight countries, including India, that have recorded the major spread of the mutated strain. Besides India, flights from Australia, Canada, France, Pakistan, the Philippines, the UK and the US will not be allowed to land for the next two weeks, Bloomberg quoted Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam as saying in a briefing on Wednesday. Hong Kong is imposing strict new virus control measures for the first time in almost a year amid concerns over the omicron variant which is threatening to spur a winter wave. It will also ban dining-in after 6pm, close some venues, including bars and gyms, eliminate large-scale events, Lam said. The new rules return to social distancing restrictions that were in place a year ago and eased after Chinese New Year in 2021 when infections were ebbing. The tightening comes as the Asian financial hub this week reported the first local coronavirus case that officials were unable to trace to its source. The patient, an unvaccinated man who developed symptoms before being diagnosed, is believed to be carrying the Omicron variant that has triggered exponential spread of Covid-19 across the globe. Hong Kong is one of the only places in the world that has not experienced a delta outbreak of the pandemic. It has maintained a strict Covid-zero policy, designed to eliminate all traces of the virus within its borders. The growing number of Omicron cases and a looming expansion of the vaccine mandate has enlivened the city’s stagnant immunisation rollout. While 66 per cent of the city’s population has received a first injection, just 22 per cent of the over-80 population have started the immunisation process. (With agency inputs).

world-news 2022-01-05 hindustantimes