Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has promised to avoid overnight lockdowns during the Lunar New Year beginning on Friday after two such exercises in Yau Ma Tei and Sham Shui Po on Monday evening saw 1,540 individuals tested for Covid-19 but no positive cases.

Overall, the city recorded 32 new infections on Monday and 26 on Tuesday. Three of the cases confirmed on Tuesday were identified from Sunday’s lockdown at Wai Lee Building in Quarry Bay.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam visited Yau Ma Tei lockdown area on December 8, 2020. Photo: Michael Ho Kenny Huang/Studio Incendo.

Man Ying Building in Yau Ma Tei’s Ferry Point and Hang On Building in Sham Shui Po were placed under lockdown from Monday afternoon till Tuesday morning. Chief Executive Lam briefly visited the lockdown area in Yau Ma Tei for about twenty minutes after 9pm.

The government deployed 300 officers to each area and tested 1,450 and 90 people living in Man Ying Building and Hang On Building respectively. All testing in both buildings was completed by around 7am, but the lockdown at Man Ying Building was not lifted until 11am.

The authorities have identified 75 people from the two buildings who failed to take the tests and imposed HK$5,000 penalties. Out of 1,019 flats the government visited, 285 did not answer the door.

Photo: Michael Ho Kenny Huang/Studio Incendo.

Separately, an 18-year-old Covid patient living in Wai Lee Building in Quarry Bay sat an exam at Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary School while he was contagious. Some 130 sixth form students and over 10 teaching staff have been placed in a quarantine hotel after they were identified as close contacts.

A resident and two employees at a Po Leung Kuk disability care home in Kwun Tong have also contracted the coronavirus while 70 residents and employees have been sent to quarantine.

Photo: Michael Ho Kenny Huang/Studio Incendo.

Lam said Tuesday that 24,000 people had been tested during 25 lockdowns, and only four of them yielded positive cases. “Not finding new cases is a positive indication.”

“As things now stand, barring unforeseeable circumstances, we will not do any RTD [lockdown] operations during the Chinese New Year holiday,” she said.

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Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.