Hong Kong reported 43 cases of cholera on Saturday, the highest daily increase in three months. Of those, 36 were referred locally – including 13 who could not be understood.
Unrestricted travel can be a major problem for both destinations, which have months of strict arrival rules. As the dengue epidemic spread, the two governments closed the border and temporarily denied the entry of residents and visitors. In Hong Kong, returnees have to be detained for 14 days and wear electronic bracelets to track their whereabouts.
How the bubble is meant to work
Bubbles was scheduled to start Sunday with one flight per day into each city, with a total of 200 visitors per flight – and later doubled to two flights per day.
Travelers must meet certain conditions before departure, such as having not traveled in the last 14 days, and pass the mandatory Covid-19 test. But they will not be detained or required at home, or on restricted routes, upon arrival.
However, all-time arrangements, including the bombing, which should worsen the Covid-19 situation in both cities, are planned to be suspended.
The Singapore Civil Aviation Authority initially announced Saturday morning that a flight bubble to Hong Kong would be launched as scheduled. But the next day, the city’s transport minister, Ong Ye Kung, announced a change in plans.
“Due to the changing situation in Hong Kong, Secretary Edward Yau and I discussed further this afternoon, and decided it would be better to postpone the launch of ATB, within two weeks. We will review within two weeks on the launch date and update again,” Ong said.
Hong Kong has seen a rapid increase in epidemic infections in the past few days, after weeks of low incidence.
The city health center “strongly urges” people to avoid unnecessary travel outside of Hong Kong, and urges people to avoid going out to eat, go out to eat and socialize.
Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease department at the Hong Kong Health Protection Center, said on Saturday that “the increase is alarming.”
She warned that the escalation of the case would be “difficult to control.”
CNN’s Jessie Yeung contributed to this article.