Residents brace for nightly lockdowns

Residents of a Kwai Chung public housing block hit by a major Covid outbreak are bracing themselves for overnight lockdowns and mandatory testing for the next three nights.

Yat Kwai House at Kwai Chung Estate will be sealed off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday after 15 residents and a security guard were infected.

People will have to take Covid tests every night and show a negative result if they want to leave the block in the morning.

For now, residents can still leave as they wish.

Most residents who spoke to RTHK said they don’t mind the nightly tests, but some have issues with the government’s arrangements as well as its Covid policy.

“It’s right for them to arrange the tests. But if we go on like this, it doesn’t matter what you do,” one resident said.

“If we’d closed the border, then the virus wouldn’t have come in. The aircrew members were also running everywhere, and this virus is so infectious.”

Another resident said he bought extra food when he went shopping on Friday morning.

“I want to buy some food in advance because we’ll soon need to show a negative test result before they allow us to go out, and I have a son who needs medical treatment at home.

“It’s okay that they test us for the coming three days. But let us know what time. We have no idea when they’ll start doing the tests.”

He also said it’s hard to avoid the virus because people can freely enter the building’s refuse collection rooms.

Authorities believe a man who is part of the Silka Hotel cluster had brought the virus to Yat Kwai House when he visited the refuse collection rooms last week, and security guards and cleaners, who also used the facilities, subsequently spread the virus around the block.

Health authorities have stepped up disinfection at the building. And some residents were seen wearing gloves as they tried to avoid being infected.