'Only half of residents were tested in lockdown' - RTHK
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'Only half of residents were tested in lockdown'

2021-01-27 HKT 10:45
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  • 'Only half of residents were tested in lockdown'
A district councilor said on Wednesday that the government may have tested only around half of the residents living in the three buildings in Yau Ma Tei that were put under lockdown overnight.

Lee Wai-fung was speaking shortly after officials lifted the 11-hour lockdown on a section of Pitt Street and Tung On Street in Yau Ma Tei. Officials managed to test 330 people, finding one positive Covid-19 case.

The government said staff knocked on 306 doors, receiving no answer at 93 of them.

Speaking on an RTHK programme, the Yau Tsim Mong district councillor said he estimates that there are around 500 to 600 residents living in those buildings.

Lee said he noticed that the letter boxes of more than 10 households in one building had been packed with letters over the past few days, meaning that the residents had not returned home.

Lee added some residents may have been working a night shift and did not return home during the lockdown.

While he noted residents there had been mentally prepared for the lockdown, Lee questioned whether the operation could really help contain the spread of the coronavirus, saying the operation had room for improvement.

He said some residents were worried about the risk of transmission while they queued up with people from other blocks to get tested. He also said cleaners did not seem to have thoroughly cleansed the area after the mass testing had been completed.

Infectious diseases expert Joseph Tsang, meanwhile, said he believes the reason the government imposed a lockdown on the area without prior notice was to prevent residents from fleeing, as some did prior to authorities sealing off an area in Jordan over the weekend.

He said he believes the government’s “ambush-style lockdown” is aimed at targeting high-risk old buildings and identifying silent carriers as soon as possible.