The Hong Kong government locked an area of the Kowloon Peninsula on Saturday after the novel coronavirus outbreak. 10,000 residents will have to stay at home until they have been tested and the results largely determined.
The first such action the city has taken since the pandemic began was in the densely populated neighborhoods of Jordan, which are home to many aging, subdivided homes where the virus could more easily spread.
The government said there are 70 buildings in the restricted area, which is located near the International Commerce Center (ICC). The goal is to complete the process within 48 hours so people can go back to work on Monday.
Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam said 50 makeshift test points had been set up and 3,000 officers helped.
“We’re also doing this to allay residents’ concerns as there was talk of it being an epidemic area and affecting the lives, psychology and business of the people here,” Lam said at a briefing near the cordoned off area.
By 1:00 p.m. local time (0500 GMT) on Saturday, the government announced that around 3,000 people had been tested in the restricted area.
The restricted area confirmed 162 confirmed cases of COVID-19 this month, and the percentage of virus detected in wastewater samples from buildings there was higher than in other areas.
Authorities in Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, have taken aggressive action to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Other current restrictions include a ban on eating indoors after 6:00 p.m. and the closure of facilities such as gyms, sports facilities, beauty salons and cinemas.
Last week the city extended home work for officials until January 27.
Hong Kong recorded 81 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 10,010. More than 160 people have died. At the height of the outbreak for the city in July 2020, the highest daily number was 149 new infections.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)