Food and Health Secretary, Sophia Chan, said she believes the number of locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases will come down over the next week or two after the government introduced even more stringent anti-epidemic measures.
Speaking on an RTHK radio programme on Tuesday, Chan said latest figures show that the transmission rate for the virus has already come down, and believes the measures – which will come into effect from midnight – will further limit its spread.
The secretary said when the new wave of Covid cases started earlier this month, the data showed that the transmission rate was four – meaning one person can infect up to four people. Now the rate has come down to one, the former nursing professor said.
Chan said the peak for infection onset dates was July 16-17.
She said she understands the more stringent measures were inconvenient for the public, but urged people to be understanding, saying they must practice strict personal hygiene and refrain from social gatherings.
Meanwhile, a chief manager of the Hospital Authority, Dr Ian Cheung, said the city's public hospitals are now under immense pressure.
Cheung's comments come after it was confirmed on Monday that around 100 recently-confirmed Covid-19 patients are still waiting for a hospital bed.
He urged infected people who are waiting at home to be hospitalised to be patient, saying they should not rush to the hospitals' Accident and Emergency departments, saying that would only make things worse.
Hong Kong recorded another record surge of Covid-19 infections on Monday.
While Hong Kong still has one of the world’s lowest fatality ratios, with 22 fatalities among 2,778 confirmed infections, the number of deaths has been accelerating at an alarming rate amid a 'third wave' of the epidemic here.
On Monday, the government also announced their strictest social distancing restrictions yet, including a suspension of all restaurant dining, a ban on more than two people gathering in public, making face masks mandatory at all outdoor public places, as well as the temporary closure of sports premises and swimming pools.