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Lockdown ordered for another Kwai Chung Estate block

2022-01-25 HKT 10:36
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  • Lockdown ordered for another Kwai Chung Estate block
Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Tuesday that another block in the Covid-stricken Kwai Chung Estate will be locked down for five days.

Ha Kwai House had already been sealed off overnight for mass testing, but Lam said there’s a need to extend the lockdown in light of the new Omicron cases discovered there.

Speaking ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam said the five-day lockdown at Yat Kwai House – where the cluster first started and where most cases are from – will be extended for two more days.

Ying Kwai House is also sealed off for five days, and Lam said authorities will decide soon whether they have to isolate the residents there for longer.

"I totally understand affected residents of Kwai Chung Estate would feel very upset and anxious upon hearing the announcements, but I ask for your understanding. This wave of outbreaks come fast and fierce, so we have to adopt relatively assertive and stringent measures to cut the transmission chains,” she said.

She also promised cleaning services within the estate would continue, following complaints from residents that rubbish was piling up after cleaners were sent into quarantine.

Lam also said the vaccine mandates would definitely be expanded. And while conceding that it’s unlikely social distancing measures can be relaxed drastically after the Lunar New Year, she said the government will look at whether there is room to make “slight adjustments”.

Lam said the government will consider asking the central government for help if there’s a need to further expand Hong Kong’s capacity to test for Covid-19.

The CE was also asked why she took off her mask at media sessions.

“It’s a very personal question but I welcome this opportunity for me to explain once and for all why I’m not wearing a mask on this occasion. This is not incidental. This is a well thought-out behaviour of the Chief Executive.”

“The people of Hong Kong," she said, "have to hear very clearly from the Chief Executive, what are the messages that she is conveying to the public. The people of Hong Kong may even have to feel my emotions."

“Now, I am very somber. I’m very solemn because I’m very worried. And, wearing a mask would not allow people to see for themselves," Lam said.

"I’m the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR. People need to understand and feel my feelings. Now I’m very worried and so I’m not going to smile to you in a very relaxed or a very casual manner… I want the people of Hong Kong to understand exactly the situation that Hong Kong is in, and to pull in their efforts to support this important fight against Omicron.”