Hong Kong’s coronavirus case total has surpassed double that of the mainland, with the city under pressure from a runaway fifth wave of infections . Hong Kong reported 32,597 cases on Tuesday afternoon, pushing the total number of cases up to 238,377, while China’s total number of confirmed cases stood at 109,526. The Hong Kong government is expected to impose a “large-scale lockdown” along with a universal Covid-19 testing drive later this month. The contrast with the mainland is striking given that Hong Kong has less than 1 per cent of the country’s population. But there is one difference in the way the two areas tally cases. Hong Kong includes asymptomatic infections in its totals while the mainland counts them separately in the daily report, adding them to the official total when they are “confirmed”, or showing symptoms. At the same time, the mainland reports many fewer asymptomatic cases. Hong Kong reported 34,466 new infections on Monday , setting yet another daily high in a wave largely driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. The wave is on a bigger scale than the initial outbreak in Wuhan, in central China, and greater than in any other mainland city. The coronavirus has spread quickly through the densely populated city, with all but four of Monday’s cases being locally acquired, according to Hong Kong authorities. That compares with 200 new cases the mainland reported on Tuesday, of which 125 were imported and 75 were community transmissions. No new deaths were reported on the mainland, while Hong Kong reported 124 Covid-19-related deaths the day before. The southern province of Guangdong and Shanghai reported the most imported cases on the mainland, accounting for 44 and 40 respectively. For the past few weeks, most of Guangdong’s imported cases have originated in Hong Kong. On Monday, 49 of the 53 cases imported into Guangdong were from Hong Kong. To help contain the wave of cases, Beijing has sent some of its top Covid-19 specialists and health workers to help Hong Kong, including a five-member team that arrived in the city on Monday. “We will work against the clock to assist and communicate with Hong Kong experts to ensure the current anti-epidemic measures are effective, and ensure the health and lives of Hong Kong residents,” Liang Wannian, the highest-ranking Beijing health official in the team, said on Monday.