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Saturday, March 21, 2020, 21:03
HK health chief says city in 'state of war' against coronavirus
By Chen Zimo
Saturday, March 21, 2020, 21:03 By Chen Zimo

A cleaner wears a face mask as a precautionary measure against the  coronavirus as she wipes a surface at Hong Kong’s international airport on March 19, 2020. (ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)

HONG KONG - Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee on Saturday said Hong Kong was in a “state of war” in containing the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic after 48 new confirmed cases were recorded on Friday, taking the tally to 256.

READ MORE: HK imported cases rise amid tight border control

Speaking on a radio program, Chan said the authorities were concerned that the coronavirus outbreak could spin out of control although positive steps in containment have been taken.

The govt has set up temporary testing centers at AsiaWorld-Expo and North Lantau Hospital to test airport arrivals with symptoms in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease in the local communities

The Hong Kong government has introduced travel restrictions to curb cross-border transmission of the disease. It has set up temporary testing centers at AsiaWorld-Expo and North Lantau Hospital to test airport arrivals with symptoms in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease in the local communities.

ALSO READ: Mandatory quarantine for all arrivals in HK starting March 19

The government is also considering using hotels as quarantine centers for people entering Hong Kong from abroad, said Deputy Secretary for Food and Health, Daniel Cheng Chung-wai. 

To do that, the government would need to make arrangements, including reviewing the hotel’s ventilation systems. The central air-conditioning systems used in most hotels are similar to the one that many experts believe has caused the mass infection on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship. 

Even if the hotels are willing to take part in such arrangement, the government would still need to have sufficient manpower on site to assist those under quarantine, said Chung.




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