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Hong Kong fights lockdown panic as COVID count hits record

City leader rules out lockdown, calls for calm ahead of mass testing plans

The United States has advised citizens not to travel to Hong Kong, citing its deteriorating virus situation, as overwhelmed hospitals are forced to put the sick in makeshift treatment areas.   © Reuters

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's COVID-19 infections soared to a record above 55,000 cases on Wednesday as residents, spooked by plans for compulsory mass testing and rumors about a citywide lockdown, cleaned out grocery store shelves.

Deaths are also surging as the financial hub grapples with its worst outbreak of the virus, stretching hospitals and leaving scores of patients to be treated in makeshift facilities. 

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