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Stay home, Beijing tells HK delegate Tam Yiu-chung

2021-10-16 HKT 15:40
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  • Stay home, Beijing tells HK delegate Tam Yiu-chung
Hong Kong's sole delegate to the nation's top legislative body, Tam Yiu-chung, says he has been barred from attending the committee's meeting in Beijing next week – due to the recent discovery of an untraceable Covid-19 case in Hong Kong.

In a video uploaded to the DAB's social media page, Tam said he originally planned to set off to the capital on Monday for the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) meeting, which takes place from Tuesday to next Saturday.

But he was told by mainland health authorities that he isn't permitted to attend. Three other Hong Kong people who were invited to observe the meeting have also been told to stay away.

"According to my understanding, the main reason is because of Hong Kong's outbreak problem. The mainland is very concerned about the case with an unknown source," Tam said, referring to an infection last week involving an airport cargo handler.

The NPCSC member revealed that mainland authorities had suggested that he not attend the committee's last meeting as well, but he insisted on going because it covered Hong Kong issues.

"Maybe the meeting doesn't cover any Hong Kong topics this time, that's why they don't allow me to go," Tam said.

He said he is not optimistic about the reopening of borders, and urged SAR authorities to handle untraceable infections cautiously, as well as notify and reassure mainland authorities.

Tam added that the key to the reopening of border lies in the implementation of a proper health code system, which allows mainland officials to trace close contacts should there be an outbreak.

Health officials have yet to get to the bottom of how the cargo handler came to test positive on October 6, breaking a streak of more then 50 days without a local case.

More than 100 of his colleagues were sent to quarantine and residents of his home building were subject to mandatory tests, but there've been no further cases.