Officials unable to contact 10 HK residents on ship - RTHK
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Officials unable to contact 10 HK residents on ship

2020-02-18 HKT 11:33
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  • Officials unable to contact 10 HK residents on ship
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that Hong Kong officials who arrived in Japan on Monday have so far been unable to establish communications with ten people from the city on a quarantined cruise ship in Yokohama, and are now trying to reach them through the cruise operator.

Some 350 Hong Kong residents have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess for the past two weeks, and the Hong Kong government is planning to repatriate them on two chartered flights. But they will be required to undergo another 14-day quarantine when they come back to the SAR.

The CE said some Hongkongers on board the ship have indicated that they do not wish take the chartered flights that the SAR government has arranged.

Talking to the media before the Executive Council meeting, Lam said she had asked the cruise company to help reach 10 Hong Kong passengers whom the government have been unable to contact.

"The Immigration Department has deployed staff to try to reach every one of the 351 Hong Kong residents on board the Diamond Princess cruise. Up till now, my latest information is there are ten outstanding residents," she said.

"We will continue to reach out to them as long as they have a contact, but I understand that maybe one or two don't even have a contact. So another means to do it is though the cruise company, because these people are on the cruise and the cruise company and the crew are still serving them, so we've asked the cruise company to help us reach out to them,"

"I'm going to send each of them a letter today to tell them exactly the arrangements that we have put in place," she said.

Lam said passengers who refuse to come back on the chartered flights would be put on a “watch list” and sent to quarantine centres even if they flew back to the SAR on their own later.

Referring to the Hong Kong residents who are stuck in Hubei, which is under a province-wide lockdown, Lam said she was very concerned and attached great importance to their situation.

She said the authorities want them to be evacuated but it was necessary to consider that the local epidemic situation was still severe.

As movement in and out of the province is tightly controlled, a specific plan should be drawn up, Lam added.