Friday 10 July 2020 10:55 am

Hong Kong shuts all schools after local coronavirus cases spike

Hong Kong’s education department has said it will suspend all schools from Monday, after a spike in confirmed local coronavirus cases.

The city state reported 38 new cases today, a slight fall from yesterday’s 42 new cases but forming a continuation of a sharp uptick in cases registered over the past three days.

Schools have been mostly shut since January, with many having switched to online learning.

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Officials said 32 of the new cases were locally transmitted, after the city reported mostly imported cases for months.

Education secretary Kevin Yeung said some of the recent cases involved students and parents.

Hong Kong has now recorded 1,404 positive cases of coronavirus, and seven deaths.

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It comes as the country faces ongoing protests and a broader boycott of cooperation with law enforcement from technology firms, following the introduction of China’s national security law in the country this month.

China’s parliament adopted the security law in response to protests last year triggered by fears Beijing was stifling the city’s freedoms and threatening its judicial independence, guaranteed by a “one country, two systems” formula agreed when it returned to China.

Beijing has denied interference and officials say the law is vital to plug holes in national security defences exposed by the protests.

The legislation penalises crimes related to secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison.