Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on the Hong Kong government to contain the COVID-19 outbreak as its top priority after expressing concerns over recent surges in infections in the city, pro-Beijing local newspapers said Wednesday.

Xi has instructed the city's leaders to "mobilize all its manpower and resources and introduce every necessary measure" to ensure the safety and health of its citizens and to stabilize the society, according to Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po.

The president also said that central authorities and other local Chinese governments should offer their full support and assistance to the Hong Kong government in their efforts to contain the outbreak, according to the reports.

China's central government would also step up its efforts to strengthen anti-epidemic coordination, with Beijing authorities and experts as well as the Guangdong and Hong Kong governments involved, the reports said.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam expressed her "heartfelt gratitude" for Xi's concern in a statement on Wednesday and pledged that her government would follow the Chinese leader's instructions to stabilize and control the pandemic.

Since a community outbreak in January, Hong Kong has grappled with an unprecedented wave of COVID-19 infections fueled by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

On Wednesday, health authorities confirmed a new daily record of 4,285 COVID-19 cases, with over 12,000 infected people waiting to be admitted to hospitals as medical facilities struggle to cope with a sharp growth of coronavirus cases in the city with a population of 7.5 million.

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