Arrivals from Melbourne first group to go into quarantineLocal | 19 Mar 2020 11:58 am
Passengers of a delayed flight from Melbourne became the first group that went into compulsory quarantine as Hong Kong started implementing tougher measures against the new coronavirus spread, RTHK reports.
Health officials said that the number of infected people have jumped sharply, with majority coming from abroad.
A flight scheduled to arrive from Melbourne, Australia at around 9:00pm on Wednesday night was delayed until about 3:30am today and the passengers in that became the first group to undergo compulsory quarantine which started from midnight.
One of the passengers, surnamed Wong, said that he had caught the flight thinking he can beat today's deadline and had hoped to be in Hong Kong before the new measures came into effect. But flight delay dashed his hopes.
Another passenger in the same flight, who gave his name as Law, he felt helpless as he waited for the plane before takeoff. He said he was in a bad mood.
The majority of people who arrived in Hong Kong after the new measures went up said completing the health declaration form, getting a monitoring wristband, and the immigration process were smooth and were completed in about 15 minutes.
By morning flights from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and Myanmar had landed in Hong Kong.
Most of the passengers wore masks and other protective gear, they said.
A student who returned from the United States, surnamed Leung, said she had a mask, a raincoat, and gloves on throughout the flight. She also did not eat or drink during the whole flight as she was worried about getting infected.
Hong Kong University student Hui, who was doing an internship at a hospital in Yangon, Myanmar, said his course was ended abruptly due to the epidemic.
He said that although there were no confirmed cases in the local area, he was worried the authorities would announce a lockdown and so decided to rush back to Hong Kong.
Yu, who studied in Paris, said home isolation was being implemented by the French authorities. People had to fill out forms before going out, which was similar to a curfew, she said.
She said only Asians wore face masks and most of the locals rarely wore a mask. “So I decided to return to Hong Kong one and a half months earlier,” said You.
She said she had forked out HK$30,000 for the air ticket.
She said as she had been in France for more than 15 days and there are elderly people in her home in Hong Kong, she will be staying at a hotel for 14 days.
Another university student in France, surnamed Chan, said after her school was shut, she immediately bought a ticket for Hong Kong on Friday, which cost more than HK$6,000. By last night the price had gone up to HK$19,000, she said.