Call to restrict movement of Sha Tin estate residents to halt virus spreadLocal | 3 Jun 2020 12:22 pm
An infectious disease expert urged the government to make it mandatory for residents living in a Sha Tin housing block afftected by a cluster of coronavirus patients to be tested for the virus, and to place restrictions on their contact with other members of the public, RTHK reports.
Health authorities have collected more than 1,000 saliva samples from residents of Luk Chuen House on Lek Yuen Estate. As the tests are voluntary, officials can only appeal to residents to submit samples as soon as possible.
Speaking to RTHK, Dr Ho Pak-leung who heads the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Infection criticized the government for being too “passive” and warned that this could lead to a further spread of the virus.
“The tests are still ongoing after a few days. The residents continue to go to school and work. They may dine and drink with friends and go to karaoke. It’s very dangerous,” he said.
“When similar incidents happen in Macau or the mainland, officials will not just fold their arms and wait for people to submit samples. Mandatory tests will be arranged if residents don’t provide samples for tests.”
Ho said residents should be put under medical surveillance, banned from dining out and visiting places like gyms and karaokes, and required to wear masks.