While the risk of imported cases remains, Hong Kong has not recorded any new COVID-19 cases for the first time in nearly two months, on Monday.
The special administrative region recorded its first case of the infection on January 23. March 5 was the last time since the outbreak that the city did not record any new cases.
Daily press briefing not held
Because of the lack of cases, the Department of Health and Hospital Authority have decided not to hold a daily press briefing, through which they have been providing virus-related information everyday at 4.30 p.m. since late January, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP). As of Monday, Hong Kong has 1,025 coronavirus cases, with four deaths.
The infection rate increased in March when overseas residents rushed back from Britain, the US, and Europe, bringing the virus back with them. But the surge has slowly dwindled, and Hong Kong has recorded single-digit cases for more than a week.
Hotel turned into a quarantine centre
Meanwhile, a government source told the SCMP the Regal Oriental Hotel, in Kowloon City, had been turned into a quarantine centre, as health authorities had been trying to determine how to minimise the risk from residents returning to Hong Kong from overseas.
Officials had considered making travellers stay behind to get their test results before sending them home for further isolation. Many of the hotel guests were forced to leave their rooms after a quick notice on Sunday night that it was to be used as a quarantine facility.
Guests would be transferred to another hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, according to a member of hotel staff. A spokeswoman for the Regal Oriental Hotel confirmed to the SCMP that the government had requisitioned the whole hotel for quarantine purposes, but gave few details on who would be quarantined there, and for how long.
(With inputs from agencies)