Authorities in Hong Kong reported 73 new coronavirus cases on Monday, blaming “silent transmission” chains for a rise in asymptomatic infections.

The epidemic situation in the densely populated Chinese city is rapidly worsening, officials said, after 73 new coronavirus cases were registered, the highest daily figure since August 16 when the city reported 74 cases.

“Some of the confirmed cases are asymptomatic and this has indicated the existence of many silent transmission chains in the community,” the statement warned.

About 50 new cases were linked to the “super-spreading” dance clubs cluster, and Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Center for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, described eight of the new infections as “untraceable.”

Covid-19 cases linked to the dance cluster have risen to 132, the largest reported in the city since the beginning of the pandemic. Health authorities have so far identified 21 dance venues involved.

To help contain the outbreak, mobile testing stations have been opened in several districts, and officials have urged residents in affected areas to take a coronavirus test.

Hong Kong has had a total of 5,702 Covid-19 cases, with 108 deaths, and 224 patients are being treated at 19 public hospitals.

Authorities have decided to postpone a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore for two weeks over the rise in cases. The bubble was set to launch on Sunday.

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Chiu-chee said earlier on Monday that the government was considering the need to further tighten social-distancing rules, including closing some businesses.

In September, the city began to ease restrictions on dining, sports facilities and theme parks, following a mass testing program organized by China’s government. But the health secretary said last Friday that the city had “probably entered” the fourth wave of the pandemic.

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