Quarantine for sailors in six ships off Lamma - RTHK
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Quarantine for sailors in six ships off Lamma

2020-07-23 HKT 19:19
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  • Till July 8, sailors flying into Hong Kong to board ships from the city were exempted from coronavirus tests. File photo: AFP
    Till July 8, sailors flying into Hong Kong to board ships from the city were exempted from coronavirus tests. File photo: AFP
Hong Kong health officials said on Thursday that around 140 sailors in six different ships are under quarantine in their vessels anchored off Lamma Island after some of the crew tested positive.

The ship staff had flown into the city and headed to their vessels after taking a virus test. But when the results returned positive, a quarantine was imposed on these ships.

Authorities said the other crew members can’t be sent to quarantine camps because the ships need to be manned.

Hong Kong had exempted airline and shipping personnel from mandatory virus tests and a 14-day quarantine that were applicable for other visitors to the city till early this month.

Some health experts had then criticised that as a loophole in the social distancing restrictions imposed by the government to curb the pandemic.

As a new wave of Covid cases started to emerge in the city from earlier this month, the government imposed a mandatory saliva test for all airline and shipping staff arriving in Hong Kong from July 8.

Asked about this policy, undersecretary for food and health Chui Tak-yi said the government needs to strike a balance between reducing imported cases and maintaining essential services like food supply for the people shipped in.

But control measures would be stepped up if necessary, he added.