Hong Kong has the highest COVID-19 death rate in the developed world right now.

Details: Hong Kong is in the midst of an omicron variant outbreak, which has crippled hospitals and shut down restaurants and businesses throughout the city.

  • Per The New York Times, anxiety has grown among people in the city, who are worried about potential lockdowns, quarantine and other measures to combat COVID-19.
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Context: Hong Kong long championed the idea of “zero COVID,” which aimed to eliminate all cases through testing and quarantine, according to The Washington Post.

  • This is similar to China’s plan to combat COVID-19 with “strict social distancing, mass testing, lockdowns and largely closed borders have been effective at preventing the coronavirus from overwhelming the hospital system,” The Washington Post reports.

By the numbers: Close to 2,300 people have died during the city’s most recent COVID-19 outbreak, per The Washington Post.

  • For comparison, 213 people have died from COVID-19 in Hong Kong since the pandemic began.
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What’s happening: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said there was “no specific time frame” for citywide COVID-19 testing due to the outbreak, per ABC News.

  • “Now the situation is that planning and preparation are still underway, but it is not a priority to do (mass testing). When to do it will be a collective decision, and will take into account the opinions of experts,” said Lam.
  • “If we are going to do it properly, we have to tell people that until you’ve got a negative result, you can’t go out and about.”
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