MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th January, 2021) Hong Kong plans to lift a lockdown that was imposed on one of its most densely populated districts on Monday, provided "everything goes smoothly," Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said.
Early on Saturday, the Yau Tsim Mong district, populated by approximately 10,000 people, was suddenly placed under a quarantine to stop the spread of the spike in COVID-19 cases. According to the South China Morning Post newspaper, almost 7,000 residents were tested for coronavirus on the first day, and on Sunday, city officials will be checking if of everyone is accounted for.
"If everything goes smoothly, we can lift the restrictions at 6am on Monday [22:00 GMT on Sunday] so that people can go to work," Cheung said after a meeting with frontline government workers in the area, as quoted by the newspaper, adding that the preliminary results of the testing would become available later in the day.
The official also addressed overcrowding and its impact on the growth in the number of new cases, calling for increased urban redevelopment efforts.
"This is an area where building management is less than satisfactory. That's what we are focusing on. Some buildings have no management at all. We have to improve this urban redevelopment. Urban renewal is needed," Cheung stated.
COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong began a steep climb over the course of the month, centered around the Kowloon district, with over 50 infections reported daily since mid-January. Over 700 people are currently hospitalized, with 38 being in critical condition.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, China's special administrative region has registered slightly over 10,000 cases and 168 deaths.