Hong Kong police have arrested three men on suspicion of interfering with the city’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic through social media posts, calling their acts “extremely selfish” amid the ongoing outbreak.
The three men, aged 21 to 28, were apprehended on Tuesday over separate incidents last month, superintendent Wilson Tam from the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau said.
A 27-year-old was accused of using social media to incite people to bomb Covid-19 testing facilities and attack staff. He was suspected of inciting an explosion likely to endanger life or property, inciting intention to do grievous bodily harm and inciting others to commit arson.
Meanwhile, the 21-year-old and the 28-year-old were arrested on suspicion of using social media to encourage people to intentionally spread Covid-19, an act that is contrary to the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation.
Tam said the 28-year-old tested preliminary positive for Covid-19 on February 27, and went to a restaurant that day and the next. He posted pictures on Facebook of his meals, which he had eaten at eateries perceived to have a pro-government stance.
The 28-year-old was charged with exposing others to the risk of infection. He appeared the Kowloon City Magistracy later on Wednesday. The specific acts of the 21-year-old were not known.
“The arrestees’ behaviour significantly increased the risk of the virus spreading in the community. This is extremely selfish,” Tam said. “There was somebody who incited others to bomb a Covid-19 facility and attack people due to his own views… the police force strongly condemns these acts. We will not tolerate this.”
Tam added that police were undertaking further investigations and that more arrests have not been ruled out.