HONG KONG, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong reported 65 new COVID-19 cases on Friday in its largest daily increase since the outbreak of the virus as the rapidly-spreading epidemic overseas posed an increasingly serious challenge to the financial and commercial hub.
Of all the new infections, 41 returned from places outside of Hong Kong recently, including 14 students studying abroad, according to the Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government. Among those suspected of getting infected locally, 19 people visited or worked for bars.
Friday's new cases brought the total in Hong Kong to 518.
Given a worsening situation overseas, a number of Hong Kong residents have come back or are expected to return to the region, adding to the risk of a surge in imported cases.
The HKSAR government has stepped up efforts to curb the spread, banning the entry of all non-local travelers arriving in Hong Kong from overseas by flights, suspending all transfer services at its international airport, and imposing a 14-day compulsory quarantine for inbound visitors.