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Tighten Covid-19 restrictions, lawmakers say

2020-07-07 HKT 13:58
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  • DAB lawmaker Ann Chiang says the government should stop allowing incoming travellers from 'high-risk' countries to quarantine themselves at home. Photo: RTHK
    DAB lawmaker Ann Chiang says the government should stop allowing incoming travellers from 'high-risk' countries to quarantine themselves at home. Photo: RTHK
Pro-government lawmakers urged the authorities on Tuesday to tighten up anti-epidemic measures in Hong Kong in the wake of reports of scattered cases of locally-transmitted cases of Covid-19.

A restaurant worker and his colleague have been confirmed with the disease, without a clear source of infection, while there have been reports of more suspected local cases – including two students.

A pilot who was exempt from quarantine also recently tested positive for the virus.

Health authorities have acknowledged that there may be ‘invisible’ transmission of the virus among the community that haven’t been picked up yet, and experts have been warning that there remain loopholes in Hong Kong’s quarantine regimen.

DAB lawmaker Ann Chiang on Tuesday said in the light of the current situation, the authorities should impose further restrictions to safeguard public health.

Chiang, who heads Legco's health services panel, said residents returning from ‘high-risk’ countries should be placed in quarantine at designated facilities, rather than be allowed to isolate themselves at home.

She also says professionals and business travellers who are currently exempt from quarantine should at least be made to undergo regular testing.

Another pro-government lawmaker, Yan Chan, noted that most schools have extended classes because their students have missed so much time due to the months-long suspension of classes.

But she questioned whether schools should now reconsider, and start the summer holiday earlier, “in order to prevent all the students grouping together.”

Calls to tighten up measures were echoed by pan-democrat colleagues like Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong who called on the government to step up hygiene at elderly homes, and said more community tests and another round of school suspension are the way to go.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, who's also a medical doctor, also called on the government to reconsider whether it was still a good idea to hold activities like the upcoming Book Fair.

Kwok also said it was also very important to stop an arrangement that exempts some cross border travellers from undergoing quarantine when they travel within the region.