Government looks for stronger virus prevention - RTHK
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Government looks for stronger virus prevention

2020-01-27 HKT 10:37
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  • Chan said they have to consider whether banning all mainlanders is practical.  File photo: RTHK
    Chan said they have to consider whether banning all mainlanders is practical. File photo: RTHK
The Health Secretary Sophia Chan says the government is meeting today to discuss more comprehensive measures to prevent the spread of the Wuhan virus, after announcing last night that it's banning Hubei residents, and anyone who visited the province in the past 14 days, from entering the SAR.

The new policy, which takes effect from today, does not apply to Hong Kong residents. It comes as the number of confirmed cases in the SAR has risen to eight.

Chan urged travellers to declare truthfully, or they will get a penalty. She also said Hong Kong residents returning after visiting Hubei will also have their information taken - and will be isolated if necessary.

Chan said the ban on people coming from Hubei is just the first step: "We have to consider whether it's practical for us to ban all mainland residents from entering and leaving Hong Kong, and whether we can implement such a measure promptly.

"We want to implement the most effective measure as soon as possible."

Chan also explained that the government will not use Fai Ming Estate in Fanling to quarantine people infected with the virus, after residents near the unoccupied public housing estate built roadblocks and started fires to protest against such a move.

She said the government is only considering to use the buildings as a backup quarantine venue, to house medical staff or close contacts of infected patients but who do not have any symptoms.