Hong Kong will quarantine all travelers entering the city from Thursday, regardless of origin and nationality, as a measure to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the head of the local government, Carrie Lam, said at a press conference today. .
Lam explained that in the last two weeks the semi-autonomous city registered 57 new infections, of which 50 were detected in people from other countries: the so-called “imported” cases.
“If we exclude these ‘imported’ cases, we only have 7 local cases (of contagion) in the last week,” said the president, who added that, if the restrictions were not extended, all the previous measures might not have served any purpose.
The regulations will apply equally to residents and non-residents in Hong Kong, and in the case of the former, it may be carried out at home.
In addition, close contacts of travelers arriving from abroad who are diagnosed as infected will be sent to a special quarantine center.
Last Saturday, a measure came into force that made a 14-day quarantine mandatory for anyone entering the city from Italy, as well as from various areas of France, Germany, Japan and Spain, a measure that has now been extended to all countries of the world.
However, Lam said arrivals from mainland China, Macao and Taiwan are excluded, all territories that Beijing, a proponent of the Hong Kong government, considers part of a single China.
However, as of February 8, any person from mainland China must be quarantined, leaving only those from Macao and Taiwan exempt from such a measure.
Hong Kong health authorities detailed that, as of today, 4 deaths from COVID-19 pneumonia had occurred in its territory among the 158 cases identified since the start of the epidemic, of which 88 have been discharged and 66 remain hospitalized.
The symptoms of the new coronavirus are in many cases similar to those of a cold, but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (difficulty breathing).