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Fri. 9:30 a.m.: Hong Kong’s new COVID cases top 10,000 in spiraling outbreak

Hui Ngai-seng, 75, receives his first dose of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at a community vaccination center in Hong Kong, today. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong today reported another sharp jump in new COVID-19 cases to more than 10,000 in the latest 24-hour period as it battles its worst outbreak of the pandemic.

The new daily case count reached 10,010, health officials said, after topping 6,000 last week and 8,000 earlier this week in a spiraling outbreak. The city has been reporting about 50 deaths a day, many among the unvaccinated elderly.

The government has announced plans to test everyone in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of 7.4 million people next month as it tries to adhere to a zero-COVID policy modeled on the strict mainland China approach.

Mainland experts and builders are putting up temporary testing facilities and constructing isolation centers to handle the burgeoning caseload. The zero-COVID approach requires the isolation of anyone who tests positive, even without symptoms, to prevent spread.

Hong Kong started a vaccine pass system this week, requiring people entering shopping malls, restaurants, gyms and other premises to be vaccinated. The requirement has driven many who weren’t vaccinated to get the shot.

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