Govt imposes 5-day lockdown of Yat Kwai House

The government on Friday announced a five-day lockdown of Yat Kwai House at Kwai Chung Estate, banning people from leaving their homes, amid a major Covid-19 outbreak there.

With more than 20 cases linked to the public housing block, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan described it as a “high-risk super-spreading” event.

Around 2,700 residents will have to undergo daily testing and stay at home until Wednesday morning, and they’ll be provided with food and daily necessities.

Temporary testing centres will be set up at the block, and staff will also conduct tests at the homes of elderly residents or the disabled.

“While [the lockdown] could bring them some inconvenience, but at the same time, this is for the common good, this is to protect everybody in Hong Kong, not only those from the building,” Chan said.

The health minister also called on employers not to dock their workers’ pay if they’re caught in the lockdown.

“I hope they actually treat this situation in a more open and understanding manner, so that they won’t deduct people’s salary and things like that,” she said.

Chan added that officials will monitor the situation and see if there’s a need to take action with other buildings in Kwai Chung Estate.

She said it’s a suitable arrangement to order a lockdown on-site, rather than send residents into quarantine.

The controller of the Centre for Health Protection, Edwin Tsui, also said there’s no need to evacuate residents because there are no structural problems with the housing block that could cause vertical or horizontal transmissions.

He added that officials believe it’s most probable that the super-spreader involves a refuse-collector, who’s part of the Silka Hotel cluster.

The man is believed to have been in contact with a cleaner at Yat Kwai House who’s since tested preliminary positive, who subsequently spread the virus to other residents in the block.
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Last updated: 2022-01-21 HKT 19:22