HK begins 'ambush lockdowns' to fight virus
Hong Kong has begun using “ambush lockdowns” to suddenly close off and test everyone inside neighbourhoods where coronavirus cases have spiked.
Police cordoned off a row of densely packed tenement buildings in the Yau Ma Tei area overnight on Tuesday through this morning for mandatory tests.
No warning of an impending lockdown is given.
City leader Carrie Lam said such “ambush style” lockdowns were needed to ensure people did not flee before testers move in.
“I thank residents in the restricted area for their cooperation,” she wrote on her Facebook page yesterday as the lockdown was lifted.
A similar two-day lockdown in a neighborhood over the weekend was leaked to the media a day before police moved in.
Some 330 tests were conducted in 20 buildings, with one coronavirus case found.
But authorities say further ambush lockdowns may be necessary in the days ahead.
In recent weeks stubborn clusters have emerged in low-income neighborhoods notorious for some of the world’s most cramped housing.