The US has issued a travel warning to citizens of Hong Kong, noting the potential of children being separated from their parents as a result of the Chinese city's contentious Covid isolation laws.
Due to COVID-19-related limitations, including the potential of parents and children being separated, the State Department has raised Hong Kong to its highest "Do Not Travel" warning.
"Children who test positive in Hong Kong have been separated from their parents and held in isolation until they meet local hospital release standards," the State Department noted.
The Asian financial powerhouse is experiencing its greatest coronavirus outbreak in history, with tens of thousands of new cases being reported every day, overloading hospitals and destabilizing the city's zero-Covid plan.
Even though studies estimate that up to a quarter of the city's people may have been infected in the current wave, China has instructed local officials to put an end to the outbreak.
Authorities expect to test all 7.4 million residents later this month and, with China's help, are hurrying to set up a network of isolation camps and temporary hospitals to house the infected.
The vast majority of those who died were over 70 and unvaccinated, as Hong Kong's elderly vaccination rate remained unchanged despite ample supplies.
More than a dozen types of companies have been ordered to close as a result of the epidemic, as well as a prohibition on gatherings of more than two persons in public.