Move faster on future lockdowns: David Hui - RTHK
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Move faster on future lockdowns: David Hui

2021-01-24 HKT 12:51
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  • Move faster on future lockdowns: David Hui
A government adviser on the pandemic has said the area around the Yau Ma Tei wholesale fruit market may be next to face a lockdown, as he urged officials to move faster to avoid leaks if they have to seal off an area of town again.

David Hui, a respiratory disease expert at the Chinese University, said on Sunday that the number of cases around the fruit market was on the rise, and officials may have to seal if off for testing. The market is close to an area of Jordan which was sealed off on Saturday.

Hui told a TV programme that he was concerned that some people had left the Jordan area before it was sealed and may now be spreading the coronavirus elsewhere.

He said it was possible that people were tipped off when officials advised hawkers to move their equipment from the area's streets. He said that, in future, less notice should be given.

Reports that the lockdown was imminent were widespread from Friday morning, and a number of people were filmed leaving the area with bags of possessions.

Hui said the mass testing operation had been efficient, with about 7,000 people already tested, but added that another round of testing might be needed if the authorities find a high number of positive cases.

He also noted the number of cases around the nearby Yau Ma Tei wholesale fruit market was on the rise and said the authorities might need to seal that district for testing.

Asked about calls from pro-Beijing figures for universal testing in the SAR, Hui said it was better in Hong Kong's case to place a small neighbourhood in lockdown, as imposing a wider lockdown was very difficult.

He said the government would have to tackle logistical and manpower problems.

Officials have banned anyone from entering or leaving the affected area of Jordan until everyone is tested and results are returned. They say they hope to be able to reopen it from 6am on Monday.