Friday, 16 April, 2021

Hong Kong orders thousands to stay home in coronavirus lockdown

Hong Kong Locks Down Nearly 10,000 People in Coronavirus Hit District- Reports Hong Kong locks down district for compulsory COVID-19 testing
Deanna Wagner | 23 January, 2021, 22:05

The government aims to complete the testing within 48 hours so that those who test negative can return to work on Monday.

Almost half of the dozens of daily cases in the past week have come from the restricted area and the lockdown is aimed at cutting the chain of infection, the official said. "Under the epidemic, their livelihood is seriously affected as businesses in the area have been hit hard and brought to a standstill".

Thousands of Hong Kong residents were locked down Saturday in an unprecedented move to contain a worsening outbreak in the city, authorities said. More than 3,000 government officers were deployed in the action, Tsui said.

The South China Morning Post said the measures covered about 150 housing blocks and up to 9,000 people with hundreds of police on standby to enforce the lockdown.

According to local reports, the government will not lift the lockdown until it is satisfied everyone in the area has been tested.

Reports of the government's plans drove the benchmark Hang Seng Index 1.6% lower on Friday, the biggest drop in nearly two months.

Critics countered that poverty and a lack of affordable housing forcing people to live in cramped conditions were to blame for the virus spreading more easily in those districts - not race or culture.

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Hong Kong is also set to require flight crew entering the city for more than two hours to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks.

A resident undergoes mandatory coronavirus disease testing at a testing centre at Jordan in Hong Kong. A rise in cases, while far less compared with global cities such as London and NY, has spurred the government to put in place more restrictions such as the closure of schools and some businesses.

The average flat in Hong Kong is about 500 square feet (46 square metres).

"Residents will have to stay at their premises to avoid cross-infection until they get their test results", health minister Sophia Chan told reporters on Saturday.

Yuen Kwok-yung, a prominent microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong, said he had "inspected" one Yau Tsim Mong district residential building affected by the local coronavirus outbreak on Friday.

The heavier restrictions also come as neighboring city Macau reported the first imported case since June. About 10,000 residents must stay home until all of them have been tested for the new coronavirus and results largely determined.

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