Hong Kong was facing 114 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday (Nov 29), a source said, as the government prepared to order a mandatory coronavirus test for all staff working in care homes for the elderly and disabled.
If confirmed, it would be the highest daily increase since the fourth wave started more than a week ago, and the first time the city recorded a three-figure rise since the 125 cases on Aug 1.
On Monday, all those employed in the care home industry, except those working in homes on outlying islands, would be ordered to get tested before Dec 14, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said on Sunday morning.
Those who refuse to do so would be fined, or not allowed to work, he added.
After this first round of compulsory testing was completed, in about two weeks, he said the government planned to order staff to then get tested every week.
As of Saturday, the city's total number of confirmed coronavirus infections was 6,123, with 108 related deaths.
Since July, the government has arranged five rounds of voluntary testing for staff working at these homes. About 86 per cent of employees across different care homes in the city got tested in the first round, Law said, but only 68 per cent had taken since the third round.
Getting care home workers tested was important, the minister said, because in 21 developed countries, 46 per cent of those who died from Covid-19 were people living in care homes.
In Hong Kong, of the 102 care homes residents who have been infected, Law said about 30 per cent had died.