New entry restrictions still not good enough: expert - RTHK
A A A
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

New entry restrictions still not good enough: expert

2020-03-17 HKT 12:32
Share this story facebook
  • Ho Pak-leung says a total ban on non-Hong Kong residents is needed so officials can focus all their efforts on local people. File photo: RTHK
    Ho Pak-leung says a total ban on non-Hong Kong residents is needed so officials can focus all their efforts on local people. File photo: RTHK
Hong Kong University microbiologist Ho Pak-leung said on Tuesday that the government's plan to put arrivals from almost the whole world in quarantine or under medical surveillance does not go far enough, and a total entry ban on non-residents is needed.

Ho, who heads the university's Centre for Infection, had also called for such a ban on Monday due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she would be issuing a red travel alert for the entire globe, apart from the mainland, Macau and Taiwan, and the new restrictions would apply to everyone arriving from all other places. People arriving from the mainland were already being put into quarantine.

Ho said the actual infection rate in some countries may be 10 times higher than their authorities are reporting, as some are not carrying out many tests.

He said the SAR government should ban non-Hong Kong residents from entering the territory for the next month.

Ho added that some Hong Kong residents returning for overseas are likely to have caught the virus and the ban on other people will help free up space in quarantine centres and allow officials here to focus their efforts on locals.

But a medical expert who is on government's advisory panel on controlling the outbreak described the new measures as an important step.

Professor David Hui, an infectious disease expert from the Chinese University, said the measures will be effective in discouraging people from travelling to Hong Kong while allowing low-risk students studying overseas to return home.

He said home quarantine is an "administrative measure" which amounts to closing the border. No visitor will head to Hong Kong now knowing that they will have to be in quarantine for 14 days, said Hui.

______________________________
Last updated: 2020-03-17 HKT 14:05