Covid-19

CORONAVIRUS GLOBAL UPDATE

Hong Kong adjusts airline rules; South Africa registers 989 new cases

Health workers walk out of a building under lockdown in Hong Kong, China, on 25 March 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / JEROME FAVRE)
By Bloomberg
27 Mar 2022 0

South Africa registered 989 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 3,713,252. A further one Covid-19-related death was reported, taking total official deaths to 99,966. A total of 33,405,701 vaccines have been administered.

Hong Kong will cut the time that airlines are banned for carrying excessive numbers of Covid-positive passengers to seven days from two weeks. 

The circuit-breaker mechanism that bans airlines if they carried four cases or more travellers from the same airport of origin within a week has been deleted, the government said late on Saturday. Bans could be meted out if three or more Covid cases are found on the same flight.

Shanghai became China’s biggest virus hotspot after reporting another record increase in daily Covid-19 infections. China reported 5,550 local Covid-19 cases for Saturday.

Key developments 

Hong Kong to start offering home vaccinations for elderly 

Hong Kong will start a Covid-19 home vaccination programme for older or disabled residents in the coming weeks as the city seeks to boost its inoculation rate, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a press briefing on Sunday. 

The government plans to start registration for home vaccinations with older or disabled residents at public housing estates where compulsory testing will be carried out in restricted areas. 

More than 8,000 new cases were detected in the city, officials said on Sunday.

Shanghai overtakes Jilin to be China’s biggest virus hotspot 

Shanghai became China’s biggest virus hotspot after reporting another record increase in daily Covid-19 infections.

The financial hub overtook the northeastern province of Jilin, which reported 2,078 cases for Saturday. Shanghai had 2,676 new infections, a jump of 18% from a day earlier, according to data from the municipal health commission. 

China reported 5,550 local Covid-19 cases for Saturday.

Hong Kong halves ban time for airlines 

Hong Kong cut the time airlines are banned for carrying excessive numbers of Covid-positive passengers to seven days from two weeks. The circuit-breaker mechanism that bans airlines if they carried four cases or more travellers from the same airport of origin within a week has been deleted, according to a statement released by the government late Saturday.

Under the revised rules, most other existing triggers remain. Bans can be meted out if three or more Covid cases are found on the same flight, or one confirmed infection and another non-compliant one are discovered.

The revised airline rules kick in on April 1, the day rules lifting a flight ban on nine countries, and a halving of quarantine from 14 to seven days are implemented.

Number of Covid-positive patients in US hospitals drops  

US hospital beds occupied by patients who tested positive for Covid-19 totalled 17,703 on March 25, compared with 18,392 a day earlier, according to the Department of Health & Human Services. The hospitalisation rate fell to 2.3% from 2.4%. DM/MC

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