People recently released from Penny's Bay quarantine camp as part of the government's policy reversal have spoken of their horror at the conditions inside, saying they were left without basic necessities, couldn't seek medical care, and were poisoned by the food provided.
The authorities had ordered thousands of people into quarantine, after infections involving a mutant strain of Covid were found in their buildings. They were told they would have to stay for 21 days, but on Friday the government announced that all those who tested negative for the virus would be freed.
A woman from Tsuen Wan, who gave her name as Renee, told a radio programme that her family had suffered while being held at Penny's Bay.
"If I knew that they were going to feed us such food, I would have requested my whole family go to Stanley Prison, where at least we wouldn't get food poisoning," she said.
"We didn't expect the food to taste good, but at least they could give us clean and hot meals. If they didn’t change the disease prevention policy, we would have suffered for 21 days. They can’t just feed Hong Kong people dog food and give them food poisoning."
Tsuen Wan district councillor Chiu Yan-loy told an RTHK programme that he had received dozens of similar complaints about the conditions at the quarantine camp on Lantau.
These included suspected food poisoning, a lack of toilet paper, and that no doctors were available at night, he said.
Chiu also said that around 10 families remained stuck at the quarantine facility over the weekend because of problems with paperwork.
"The incidents reflect it's very chaotic, administratively. Don't forget the occupancy last week was only half of its capacity. Is the government capable of ensuring the operation of the facility if the occupancy hits the peak?" he questioned.
At the weekend, the Department of Health said it would follow up on the complaints about the food at Penny's Bay, and would look into whether the contractor involved had failed to meet the required standards.