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12 Feb 2020 | 07:48 AM UTC

Hong Kong: Protests reported over quarantine center locations February 8-11 /update 8

Recurring protests over the location of quarantine centers in several residential areas have been reported February 8-11; avoid all protests as a precaution

health
security
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HKG

Event

As of Tuesday, February 11, recurring protests have been reported since Saturday, February 8, at local government buildings and proposed quarantine sites for novel coronavirus (COVID-29) patients in Fo Tan, Sai Kung, Tai Po, Mei Foo, and Fan Ling. Residents have been demonstrating against the locations of quarantine sites due to communal health concerns. Protests in Fo Tan and Sai Kung have been dispersed violently by riot police.

Further protests and clashes with police are likely over coming days and weeks.

Context

As of February 12, Hong Kong has confirmed 50 COVID-19 cases. Chief Executive Carrie Lam implemented the maximum health warning level in Hong Kong on January 25 after the city reported its first five confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 28 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites, confirm the status of their flights prior to departure for the airport, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.

Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands and wear a face mask
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spreading the disease.