Interview with Keiji Fukuda, Director of HKU's School of Public Health & compulsory quarantine measures in HK
May 1st is Labour Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, and a public holiday in many countries. Here in Hong Kong it’s long been marked by an annual march. Not this year. The police have banned demonstrations saying due to the pandemic they would be a serious threat to public health. They have also deployed 3,000 anti-riot officers to crack down on unauthorised gatherings. Although a ban on gatherings of more than four people in public remains in force, anti-government protests have returned over the past week. Hundreds gathered in shopping malls in Taikoo Shing, Central and Tin Shui Wai to take part in “singalong” protests. Riot police have dispersed crowds, issued verbal warnings and fined some of those present. Meanwhile with Hong Kong this week recording no new coronavirus cases for several days in a row, many people are asking when restrictions are likely to be eased.
Flights out of India and Pakistan have been grounded since late March due to the coronavirus. The Hong Kong Immigration Department says an estimated 2,000 Hong Kong people remain in Pakistan and another 3,200 in India. A chartered flight brought 319 Hong Kong residents back from Pakistan yesterday. They were then sent to a quarantine centre in Fo Tan’s Chun Yeung Estate.
Hong Kong’s quarantine measures for new arrivals have largely been successful, but changes to the arrangements over the past two months, have left some feeling confused and mistrustful.