Today’s coronavirus news: Hong Kong sees rush of Chinese visitors, most since pandemic


Wednesday 5 a.m. Hong Kong is seeing a sudden rush of Chinese nationals entering the city, with more visitors arriving at the hub’s international airport in May than the past two years combined.

Almost 9,000 mainland Chinese entered the city by plane last month, compared with just over 6,000 from March 2020 through April this year, according to the latest official immigration data. On a daily basis, entries by Chinese nationals from the mainland and other countries have turned to net inflows since mid-May, reversing an earlier trend.

A notable jump was seen on May 29 when 1,056 visitors arrived, the most since mid-March in 2020 when the Asian financial hub extended a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors arriving from outside of Greater China. The isolation period has since been cut to seven days.

Tuesday 9 p.m. New York state’s weeklong COVID-19 case rate has tumbled every day for two weeks, dropping to its lowest level in more than a month, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said Tuesday.

The state’s daily case rate on Tuesday was down about 63 per cent from May 17, according to government figures, with counts falling in every region of the state.

New York’s hospitalization rate, which lags behind the case count, has also started to sink, according to the data.

The latest dive in New York’s 26-month, five-bump COVID roller coaster ride comes with weather warming and widespread vaccination limiting the worst outcomes.

But the threat has not vanished altogether. On Tuesday, the state announced 26 more COVID deaths.

Daily death tolls had sunk into the single digits some days last month before a spring wave of omicron infections drove fatalities upward.

Hochul urged New Yorkers to remain aggressive in their approach to vaccines and testing.

“With such great momentum as we head into the summer, now is certainly not the time to get complacent,” the governor said in a statement. “Let’s commit to continuing to use the tools that keep New Yorkers safe.”

In the statement, she asked New Yorkers to “remain up to date on vaccine doses and boosters” and to “get tested early — and often.”

Fully vaccinated New Yorkers have at least an 85 per cent lower chance of landing in the hospital with COVID compared with those who are not vaccinated, according to a state Health Department analysis.

About 91 per cent of New Yorkers have received at least one shot of COVID vaccine, according to state figures, but some upstate regions lag far behind the city. A hair under 40 per cent of the statewide population is reported to have received a booster shot.

In the five boroughs, the seven-day virus case rate has dipped about 16 per cent over the last two weeks, according to state data.

New York City continued to have one of the highest case rates of any region in the state, and the city’s virus alert level remained at “high.” But hospitalizations and confirmed deaths were trending down, the city reported.


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