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Hong Kong locks down thousands for compulsory COVID-19 testing

A police officer stands guard at the Yau Ma Tei area, in Hong Kong, Saturday, January 23, 2021. Thousands of Hong Kong residents were locked down Saturday in an unprecedented move to contain a worsening outbreak in the city, authorities said.   | Photo Credit: AP

Hong Kong’s government locked down an area of Kowloon peninsula on January 23, saying its 10,000 residents must stay home until all of them have been tested for the new coronavirus and results largely determined.

The government said there were 70 buildings in the “restricted area” of Jordan and that it aims to finish the process within about 48 hours, so that people can start getting to work on January 25.

Hong Kong authorities have taken aggressive measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the Asian financial and airline hub, but Saturday’s move is the first lockdown in theChinese-ruled city.

Many buildings are old and poorly maintained in the small,densely populated area, where subdivided units are common, said health secretary Sophia Chan.

“The infection risk in the community is quite high,” shet old a news conference. “After assessment, we think it’s necessary to make a restriction-testing declaration in the restricted area to achieve the goal of zero cases.”

The restricted area has confirmed 162 confirmed cases of COVID-19 this month, and the ratio of virus detected in sewage samples from buildings there was higher than that of other areas.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 9:11:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/hong-kong-locks-down-thousands-for-compulsory-covid-19-testing/article33640664.ece

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