Coronavirus cases in Hong Kong hit another record high over the past 24 hours, authorities said on Saturday.

According to China’s National Health Commission, 123 more infections were recorded in Hong Kong, raising the overall count to 2,372.

Two more virus-related fatalities took the COVID-19 death toll up to 16, the commission said.

Infections have peaked in Hong Kong over recent days, with the previous highest daily figure of 118 reported on Friday.

In a statement, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) urged people to stay indoors and avoid all non-essential travel outside the territory, warning that the virus outbreak remains “severe” around the world.

“In view of the severe epidemic situation, the CHP calls on members of the public to avoid going out, having social contact, and dining out. They should put on a surgical mask and maintain stringent hand hygiene when they need to go out,” read the statement.

“As a number of recent cases involve elderly people, the CHP strongly urges the elderly to stay home as far as possible and avoid going out.”

Outbreak in China’s Xinjiang

A total of 34 new cases were reported on the Chinese mainland over the past 24 hours, with 20 of them in the Xinjiang autonomous region, home to the majority-Muslim Uighur community.

After around five months of no COVID-19 cases, infections have spiked in Xinjiang over recent days, with 115 now recorded in a span of nine days.

Most cases in the northwestern Chinese province have been reported in its capital Urumqi, where strict restrictions have been imposed to curb the virus’ spread.

China’s overall count since last December now stands at 83,784, including 4,634 fatalities and 78,889 recoveries.

* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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