Keep calm, no decision made on mass lockdown: CE - RTHK
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Keep calm, no decision made on mass lockdown: CE

2022-02-28 HKT 20:00
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  • Keep calm, no decision made on mass lockdown: CE
Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Monday called for calm as Hongkongers descended on supermarkets across the city in preparation for a rumoured lockdown of the entire population.

Earlier in the day, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said the option of a citywide lockdown to coincide with a universal Covid testing programme in March had not been ruled out.

Chan said that to maximise the effectiveness of the testing exercise, the flow of people would need to be reduced and they "should not go out.. or they should stay home as far as possible."

In the hours that followed, many supermarket shelves were stripped bare, with fresh produce and frozen food among the goods being snapped up.

Speaking at the Shenzhen Bay Port after welcoming a top mainland Covid strategy expert to Hong Kong, Lam called for calm, saying the government is still assessing whether the public should be banned from leaving their homes during the mass testing.

She said the authorities were also looking at how a lockdown should be carried out if there was to be one, adding that many people would still have to head out to provide essential services.

"I believe tens of thousands of civil servants will need to support the mass testing exercise. We can't impose a lockdown on those who provide essential and emergency services as well," she said.

Lam also said the government is changing the way it plans to organise the testing.

Instead of the proposed arrangement of calling people up for tests based on their year of birth, the government is now thinking about testing all members of a household at the same time, the CE said.