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Hong Kong reports 69 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths as local transmissions stay high

Hong Kong reports 69 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths as local transmissions stay high

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask and protective glasses walks on a street following the COVID-19 outbreak, in Hong Kong. (Reuters/Lam Yik)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported 69 new coronavirus cases and two deaths on Thursday (Aug 13), as authorities cautioned the global financial hub still faced a critical period to control the virus, which has seen a resurgence since early July.

Of the new infections, 65 were locally transmitted.

Since late January, more than 4,200 people have been infected in Hong Kong, with 65 fatalities.

The Hospital Authority announced that an 88-year-old female COVID-19 patient died on Thursday afternoon.

The other death was a 74-year-old woman who lived in Wong Tai Sin, according to the South China Morning Post.

On Thursday, Hong Kong International Airport said passengers from China will be able to transit through Hong Kong to other destinations from Aug 15 until Oct 15, in a boost for its dominant carrier Cathay Pacific Airways.

Transit in the other direction, inbound to China, will remain banned at a time when China's aviation regulator has severely limited the number of international flights due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

READ: Cathay Pacific forecasts weak passenger demand but stronger cargo after record loss

Cathay Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said on Wednesday that opening transit flights to China would improve its passenger volumes and that it could gear up at short notice to add flights.

He said one-third of Cathay's passengers were transiting the airport at present for connecting flights, down from around 40 per cent to 50 per cent before the pandemic when Chinese passengers were allowed to transit in both directions.

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Source: Reuters/lk

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