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Residents caught out by sudden lockdown

2021-01-26 HKT 22:20
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  • Residents caught out by sudden lockdown
Residents of two streets in Yau Ma Tei have expressed shock at seeing their area plunged into a sudden lockdown on Tuesday evening, though they said the move was understandable and expressed hope that the mandatory testing would protect them from the coronavirus.

Police and health officials moved in at 7pm to block off an area of Pitt Street and Tung On Street, with residents told to stay in their homes except when undergoing tests. They hope to complete the operation by 6am on Wednesday, allowing people to go to work.

"We are not angry, it's good for us [to stop] Covid-19," said one woman. "But we don't have any notice, they didn't give us notice at our house. It's very trouble."

Another man said: "I live here and there is nowhere else for me to stay. I guess there's nothing else I can do. The lockdown is understandable. If the government doesn't do this an outbreak can get really serious."

Meanwhile people in neighbouring streets said they were stocking up on food to prepare for the possibility that the lockdown would be extended to them.

Lawmaker Vincent Cheng, who represents the area, was at the scene to help residents. He expressed hope that the restrictions would be lifted by the morning.

Yau Tsim Mong District Councillor Lee Wai-fung said one of the buildings in the area, Shun Fung Building on Tung On Street had been subject to a mandatory testing order that was completed today and he couldn't understand why it was covered.

"You can only enter but not leave the area," he told reporters at the scene. "Some residents have come back before they could settle with preparing dinner.

"If you can help your family members and neighbours buy emergency supplies for tonight and tomorrow morning, please do so before you come back."

The government said the buildings are within a "restricted area" that reported dozens of infections earlier. A spokesman also said many of the buildings are dilapidated and feature sub-divided flats.