Coronavirus: Hong Kong to Introduce Quarantine on Arrivals from China

  • "Who would want to enter Hong Kong from the mainland and be quarantined for as long as 14 days?"
  • Hong Kong has 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and announced its first death from the disease on Tuesday.
  • The authorities point out that the mortality rate, around 2%, is below that registered during the SARS epidemic.

The government of Hong Kong will impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all people arriving from mainland China, starting Saturday, due to the new coronavirus epidemic. The announcement was made on Wednesday, by the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam. “The measure is harsh. But I believe after we say all arrivals have to be quarantined for 14 days from Feb 8, the number of arrivals will reduce,” Lam said.

Carrie Lam is a Hong Kong politician serving as the 4th and current Chief Executive of Hong Kong since 2017. She served as the Chief Secretary for Administration, the most senior principal official, from 2012 to 2017, and as Secretary for Development from 2007 to 2012.

“Who would want to enter Hong Kong from the mainland and be quarantined for as long as 14 days? In view of this, we shouldn’t have to deal with a large amount of arrivals who need to go through compulsory quarantine.” The mandatory quarantine will be imposed from Saturday, so that citizens who cross the border daily can prepare. Hong Kong has 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and announced its first death from the disease on Tuesday. Last week, the semi-autonomous territory closed almost all of its border posts with China.

Confinement

Millions of people in China were ordered on Wednesday to remain confined to their homes while officials are battling the coronavirus epidemic, which has so far killed 490 people. Global concern is growing as more countries register cases that have not originated from China. Ten people tested positive for the virus on a cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan.

With more than 24,000 cases in China alone, an increasing number of cities have adopted restrictions in recent days in remote areas of central Hubei province, the epicenter of the epidemic, in a desperate attempt to stop the new coronavirus. Nearly 56 million people in Hubei province, which has the city of Wuhan as its capital, have been virtually confined since last week.

The 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus causing the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. The first suspected cases were officially reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.

Japan Cruise

Scientists believe the disease originated in December at a market in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, which sells wild animals. The virus then spread quickly during the Lunar New Year holiday trips in January. The death toll rises daily, and has risen to at least 490 cases in China after Hubei reported 65 deaths in the past 24 hours. Most deaths occurred in the province.

The authorities point out that the mortality rate, around 2%, is below that registered during the epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another disease similar to coronavirus that killed almost 800 people in 2002-2003. The World Health Organization (WHO) has since declared the coronavirus a global health emergency. Several governments have set travel restrictions and airlines have suspended flights to and from China.

On Wednesday, Japanese authorities announced that ten passengers on a cruise carrying 3,711 people were infected with the virus. Tokyo designated a quarantine for the cruise after a passenger who landed in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the disease. The United Kingdom recommended on Tuesday to the British to leave China, if possible, to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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