Coronavirus: Surprise Hong Kong Covid-19 lockdown announced for 12 buildings in Yau Ma Tei

  • This comes a day after up to 10,000 residents in Yau Tsim Mong were ordered to stay in their district while mandatory testing took place
  • Social-distancing measures, including limits on public gathering and eating at restaurants, have also been extended
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This part of Jordan may be just the first area to be locked down. Photo: SCMP

A second lockdown was announced on Tuesday, to take place suddenly around 12 buildings in Yau Ma Tei.

The lockdown started at 7pm on Tuesday, with people living in buildings numbered 9-27 Pitt Street and the Shun Fung Building at 3 Tung On Street ordered to stay in their homes until they were tested.

The move was announced at the last minute to avoid giving residents advance notice through media leaks. It was estimated to end at 6am on Wednesday, according to a government notice.

Before the operation, authorities also placed two more neighbourhoods under increased Covid-19 mandatory testing orders.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor vowed that future Covid-19 lockdowns would retain the element of surprise and operate on a smaller scale than last weekend’s screening exercise in Yau Tsim Mong district.

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She called the 44-hour mandatory-testing exercise in Jordan a success, despite news of the testing drive leaking, allowing some residents to flee beforehand.

Residents of any building with just one coronavirus infection within two areas in Hung Hom and Mong Kok will have to undergo mandatory screening under the tightened measures.

An existing mandatory testing zone in Jordan has also been expanded, while one in Sham Shui Po remains the same.

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“The new districts were added after looking at the distribution of infections in buildings over the past two weeks,” Undersecretary for Food and Health Dr Chui Tak-yi said.

“We want to take action before these cases become significant, that’s why we are adding these areas.”

The boundaries of the testing zone in Mong Kok are Nathan Road to the east, Public Square Street to the south, Ferry Street to the west and Dundas Street to the north.

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Meanwhile, the area in Hung Hom will be marked by Station Lane to the northeast, Dock Street and Po Loi Street to the southeast, Winslow Street and Hung Hom South Road to the southwest and Chatham Road North to the northwest.

The Jordan testing area will be expanded to reach Nathan Road to the east, Austin Road to the south, Ferry Street and Canton Road, including Man Wah Sun Chuen, to the west and Kansu Street to the north.

Existing social-distancing measures have also been extended until February 3. These include the ban on more than two people gathering in public, no dine-in services after 6pm, and venues such as beauty parlours.

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