Hong Kong puts thousands into strict 48-hour lockdown | Coronavirus pandemic news

The two-day measure targets an area on the Colón Peninsula that covers a small but densely populated part of the city.

Hong Kong has put thousands of its residents on lockdown to contain a new outbreak of the Coronavirus, the first such measure taken by the Chinese-ruled city since the start of the epidemic.

The order, which went into effect on Saturday, covers several residential buildings in the Jordan neighborhood of the Colón Peninsula.

„People subject to the compulsory test are required to remain at their workplaces until all persons identified in the area are subject to testing and test results are mostly confirmed,“ the government said in a statement, adding that it plans to complete the test within 48 hours.

People walk along a street market for fresh produce in the Jordan region in the Yao Tsim Mong district of Kowloon, Hong Kong on January 22, 2021, an area that has seen a recent rise in COVID-19 cases. [Anthony Wallace/AFP]

Officials said they intend to test every person within the designated area over the next two days „in order to achieve the goal of no cases in the area.“

The South China Morning Post said the measures included about 150 residential compounds and up to 9,000 people, with hundreds of police on standby to impose the closure.

Hong Kong was one of the first places to be hit by the Corona virus after emerging from central China.

It has kept infections under 10,000 with around 170 deaths by imposing effective but economically punishing social distancing measures for most of the past year.

Earlier, the newspaper reported that the measure also includes Sham Shui Po County.

Jordan and Sham Shui Po is home to several old apartments that have been divided to make room for more people, providing the kind of conditions in which the virus could spread more easily.

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“The infection is constantly spreading [in the areas] Sewage monitoring indicates that the outbreak has not yet been controlled, and many silent sources are still present within the area.

Health authorities in the city of 7.5 million people quarantined four residential blocks in the area last Friday, and prevented people from entering or leaving those buildings to ensure that all residents are isolated.

The newspaper said that the government will only lift the closure announcement when it is satisfied that everyone in the area has tested.

Closed gyms and cinemas

Hong Kong has so far recorded far fewer infections than other major cities in the world, with fewer than 10,000 cases reported last year. The death toll in the province reached 168.

On Friday, health officials reported 61 new cases. 718 people are still in hospital and 34 are in critical condition.

Last week, the city extended work from home arrangements for civil servants.

Other COVID restrictions include bans on eating at home after 6 PM (10:00 GMT) and closing facilities such as gyms, sports venues, beauty salons and movie theaters.

Health workers wear protective suits while neighborhood residents line up to take mandatory COVID-19 testing after a spike in cases within Jordan’s Kowloon region [Anthony Wallace/AFP]

Hong Kong is also scheduled to require flight crews entering the territory for more than two hours to be quarantined in a hotel for two weeks.

Meanwhile, officials ordered medical workers to refrain from communicating with others after four nurses from various hospitals tested positive or positive initially for the virus, Hong Kong Free Press reported.

„We would like to remind our colleagues not to eat together while at work or on vacation,“ the news site quoted Linda Yu, a high-ranking health official as saying.

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“It’s the Lunar New Year holiday soon, and we hope our colleagues bear a little bit [longer] Maintaining social distancing. „

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