Thousands of residents of one of Hong Kong’s poorest and most densely populated neighborhoods were ordered to stay home on Friday night as part of the first lockdown ordered by authorities since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure prohibits people who reside in buildings located in a defined geographical area from leaving home, where an increasing number of cases have been registered in recent days, unless they have a negative test for coronavirus.
In a statement, the Hong Kong government announced that it plans to test all residents of this area of the Jordan neighborhood in 48 hours. Until it is finished “the people who must undergo a test have to stay at home,” the authorities specify.
This measure affects about 150 buildings that house up to 9,000 people. Hundreds of police officers have mobilized to ensure the lockdown is respected, the South China Morning Post reported.
Hong Kong was on the front lines when the first cases of the new coronavirus were detected in China more than a year ago.
The city, with large skyscrapers, has officially registered fewer than 10,000 cases and about 170 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Hong Kong’s roughly 7.5 million residents have been living under varying degrees of restrictions for a year, which appear to have worked to prevent infections from spreading.
In the last two months, the territory has been hit by a fourth wave of infections and the authorities have introduced new restrictions.
There were outbreaks in the Yau Tsim Mong neighborhood, an area known for having some of the smallest homes in the world.
jta / axn / uh / ybl / erl / rsr