Public gathering ban now 'meaningless': experts - RTHK
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Public gathering ban now 'meaningless': experts

2020-06-15 HKT 12:14
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  • Medical experts such as Dr Leung Chi-chiu say ban on more than eight people gathering in public places is having no effect on restricting social contacts. Photo: RTHK
    Medical experts such as Dr Leung Chi-chiu say ban on more than eight people gathering in public places is having no effect on restricting social contacts. Photo: RTHK
Professor David Hui talks to RTHK's Frances Sit
Medical experts said on Monday that current restrictions on public gatherings are "meaningless" as other activities gradually resume and the Covid-19 situation is easing.

The comments come as a ban on public gatherings of more than eight people, which was introduced to stem the spread of Covid-19, is due to expire on Thursday.

Dr Leung Chi-chiu from the Hong Kong Medical Association told an RTHK radio programme on Monday that crowds of far more than eight people are now seen in most public places, and that the restriction had little effect on reducing social contact between people.

Meanwhile, Chinese University Professor David Hui, who's advising the government on its coronavirus measures, also noted that the outbreak in Hong Kong has stabilised, and said recent infection clusters haven't spread out to the community.

Hui said it doesn't make sense to keep restricting the number of people who can gather, especially given the reopening of Ocean Park on Saturday, and the planned book fair next month.

"As you can see in the MTR stations and the bus stops, there are already lots of people, so how can you restrict the number of people when you resume normal work and also schools and normal activities?"

Hui also told RTHK's Frances Sit that it would be safe to reconnect Hong Kong with Guangdong and Macau via a travel bubble and a health code, but that it would be unsafe to connect the SAR with Beijing given the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the capital.

The experts also said it's unlikely that a cluster that has broken out at Lek Yuen Estate in Sha Tin was caused by airborne transmissions, as environment samples all came back clear.

They said the virus was probably spread through public facilities in the building, and residents there need not worry – as the building has now been cleaned, with high-risk residents evacuated.

On Sunday, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said there may be a further, gradual easing of the ban on gatherings, as long as the coronavirus situation remains stable.