Hong Kong (AP) — Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly irritated by the government’s insisting on sticking with China’s “zero-COVID” strategy, as Hong Kong reported a record-breaking number of cases on Wednesday and sneering at ever-more stringent guidelines and a plan that will check all people for the virus.
Schools have already shifted to online education, and the summer vacations are moving ahead so that the schools could be used for testing for isolation, vaccination, and testing. Hong Kong says it will follow through with its plan to conduct tests on each 7.5 million inhabitants three times in March.
According to the “zero-COVID-19” policy, each person with positive test results must be kept within a health facility, hospital, or another government-run facility for 14 days, regardless of the symptoms. This is in stark contrast to many countries that reduce restrictions and permit people with no symptoms or mild signs to stay at home.
“The entire world knows that we must live with the disease, but those in the Hong Kong government do not know about it,” claimed Taxi driver Chan Taiman. “It’s not like they do not know. They follow what the Chinese government says to them.”
The hospitals located in Hong Kong are already overwhelmed; construction teams of mainland China are being deployed to construct new isolation units. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the city is preparing to convert hotels halls, indoor stadiums, halls, and other quarantine sites.
Chinese medical teams also built mobile laboratories to prepare Hong Kong for the launch of massive testing.
“Everybody is anticipating that we will be able to identify a significant number of people infected by COVID-19 Hong Kong, so hopefully, with the help of a wide-ranging test, we can identify those who are infected and then put them in isolation,” Lam told reporters Tuesday evening.
“To make sure that success is achieved the success, we will require isolation equipment.”
Leung Chun-kit, who works in the kitchen, said he wasn’t sure the government was ready for universal testing or dealing with the findings.
“I believe that the government should look at increasing the number of hospital staff and facilities to assist health professionals better,” he said.
In the presentation of the city’s budget Wednesday afternoon, Finance Secretary Paul Chan announced a series of measures to provide relief for residents and small companies and aid in fighting the epidemic.
After keeping the coronavirus in check with highly stringent rules on travel abroad and restrictions within the country, Hong Kong has seen an unprecedented number of cases triggered by the highly infectious Omicron variant.
The number of cases reported daily increased to over 6000 confirmed cases for the first time. It then climbed to over 7000 earlier in the week. The following Wednesday, Hong Kong said 8,674 points.
The tests of sewage samples suggest the actual number could be much higher Experts predict that citywide tests could uncover 300,000 cases.
“We likely haven’t experienced the peak of this storm, and how we handle the next two to three months is crucial and vital to containing the tidal wave; however, there is no guarantee,” Lam said.
Presently, 68 percent of Hong Kong’s inhabitants are completely vaccinated, and another 10% have had one shot, as per Our World in Data.
China’s zero-tolerance policy has locked down whole cities, keeping residents locked in their homes and giving them food and food items during the extensive testing and contact tracer.
Lockdowns of smaller buildings and city blocks have drawn fierce critique. Hong Kong, a former British colony and semi-autonomous zone of China have insufficient resources for a total lockdown. Still, residents have a growing sense that it’s moving in the direction.
Hong Kong operates under the “one country two systems” principle in China However, and mainland China is gaining more authority.
Lam insists that “there is no directive by Lam’s Central People’s Government on a lockdown” and added that the present outbreak was “entirely an issue” that her administration had to deal with.
“Our motherland is providing us with all the help is needed at this crucial phase,” she said. “But ultimately, I am accountable under the “one country two system.'”
China has reported on Wednesday the discovery of 90 cases of transmission in the domestic environment, nearly half of them in the northern Inner Mongolia region and 10 in Beijing. Shenzhen, located in Guangdong Province, which Hong Kong borders, reported seven new cases.
Guangdong also reported 38 import cases, all coming from Hong Kong, despite strict frontier controls that have stopped movement across Hong Kong and the mainland.
With the influx of people on the rise in Hong Kong on Monday, China’s top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan said strict control measures are needed to avoid the higher rate of death among those who are elderly.
Mainland China has lifted lockdowns for millions of citizens living in cities in the northern and central regions of the country. However, it remains in the process of requiring mass testing and quarantines in areas where outbreaks have been confirmed.
Practically speaking for Lam and his family, easing the zero-COVID-19 policy would also hinder trael between Hong Kong and the mainland, in which the authorities demand three weeks’ quarantine or more. Beijing will not allow Hong Kong’s frontier with mainland China until the city has zero cases.
Since the outbreak started, Hong Kong has already been operating under the strictest restrictions on business, travel, and public activities. The regulations have been in place since February. Ten also prohibit gatherings that involve more than two families. Hair salons, restaurants, and places of worship were banned from the premises.
These restrictions are expected to be tightened even more on Thursday, which is when the government launches an app to manage access to certain places.
The app will include the details of vaccinations for the user. Only those who have received at least one vaccination, or those with certain exceptions to medical treatment, can access places such as restaurants, malls, and supermarkets.
“If Hong Kong still has to adhere to the zero-COVID principle and fails to achieve it in the future, then Hong Kong would become an island as it would be isolated to the entire world, which includes China, and we already see an increase in the prices for vegetable products,” stated Francis Lun who is the chief executive officer for Geo Securities in Hong Kong.
“In out of the blue, its status in Hong Kong as an international financial center would be impacted.”
Honda Will Return To Formula 1 as An Aston Martin Engine Supplier 2026.
Honda will return to Formula 1 in a formal role from 2026 as an engine supplier to Aston Martin. Aston Martin team. The company officially quit F1 in the year 2021; however, its engines are utilized by both Red Bull teams and are known as Hondas by 2023.
Honda announced on Wednesday that the F1’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality in 2030 had been a “key factor” behind its decision to return to F1 officially.
The new rules in 2026 are expected to enhance the electrical efficiency of F1 engines.
The body governing the sport, the FIA, requires the mark to use biodegradable synthetic fuels simultaneously.
Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe has stated: “In pursuit of its aim of achieving carbon neutrality before 2030, beginning in 2026, the FIA will require to use 100percent carbon neutral fuel, and electric power will increase dramatically by 3x the amount of the regulations currently in place.
“With this massive increase in power generated by electricity, it is clear that the most critical factor in winning in F1 is a small, powerful, light and efficient motor that has a battery with high performance that can be swiftly managing the power of a high output and energy management technology.
“We believe this know-how gained from this new challenge has the potential to be applied directly to a future mass-production electric vehicle.”
What’s the reason behind Honda’s shift in strategy?
F1 has used hybrid engines since 2014. However, the new regulations will result in significant changes to their layout.
Most significant is the elimination of the MGU-H element of the hybrid system, which recuperates energy from the turbo. It also increases a substantial percentage of hybrid power that is included in the engine’s power output.
Watanabe told reporters: “Currently, the electrical energy is 20% or less compared to the internal combustion engine.
“But the new regulations require about 50% or more electrification, which moves even further toward electrification, and the technology for electrification will be helpful for us in producing vehicles in the future.
Carbon-neutral fuels, as well as their integration in the engine, the engineer said, “match with Honda’s direction.”
Watanabe stated that expanding the F1 cost cap to engine covers was also an element in his decision, as it would have made “long-term and continuous participation in F1 easier”.