The new measure will target two districts that cover a small but densely populated part of the Kowloon Peninsula.
Hong Kong will put tens of thousands of its residents on lockdown to contain a new coronavirus outbreak, the first such measure the Chinese-ruled city has taken since the pandemic began, according to the South China Morning Post on Friday.
The Post, citing anonymous sources familiar with the situation, said the new measure will target the districts of Jordan and Sham Shui Po, which cover a small but densely populated part of the Kowloon Peninsula.
The neighborhoods are home to many older apartments that have been subdivided to make room for more people, providing the kind of conditions in which the virus could spread more easily.
“Persistent and widespread infection [in the areas] and sewage monitoring suggests that the epidemic is not yet under control and that many silent sources still exist in the region, ”a quoted source said.
Health officials in the city of 7.5 million people first isolated four buildings in the area last Friday, preventing people from entering or exiting those buildings to ensure all residents were put in. quarantine.
The government will only lift the lockdown declaration when it is satisfied that everyone in the region has been tested, according to the newspaper.
Gyms, cinemas closed
Hong Kong has so far reported significantly fewer infections than other major cities around the world, recording fewer than 10,000 cases in the past year. The territory’s death toll stands at 167.
Health authorities on Thursday reported 70 cases, 63 of them acquired locally, including 16 of unknown origin.
Last week, the city extended work-at-home arrangements for officials.
Other COVID restrictions include banning on-site dining after 6 p.m. (10:00 GMT) and closing facilities such as gyms, sports venues, beauty salons and cinemas.
Hong Kong is also expected to require flight crews to enter the territory for more than two hours to self-quarantine in a hotel for two weeks.
Meanwhile, officials ordered medical workers to refrain from socializing with others after four nurses from various hospitals tested positive or preliminary positive for the virus, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.
“We want to remind our colleagues not to eat together during work or on vacation,” said Linda Yu, a senior health official, as quoted by the news site.
“It is soon the Lunar New Year holidays, we hope our colleagues can tolerate a little [longer] and maintain social distance. “