The new wave of coronavirus, which hits Hong Kong for a few weeks might be due to the decision of the authorities to let the crews of the merchant navy change of boarding in the city without complying with quarantine, said on Friday an expert in the health issues.
While the semi-autonomous region of southern China was able to bring the epidemic under control and to come to the end of chains of transmission is local, the number of cases is on the rise again since the beginning of the month.
The ex-british colony announced on Friday that 123 new cases in 24 hours, bringing the total cases since the epidemic began in 2372, while the COVID-19 has killed 16 people.
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A thousand infections have been confirmed in the past two weeks, more than 40% of the total recorded since the arrival of the epidemic in January.
Some experts have attributed this recent rise in cases of exemptions granted by local authorities to ‘professions-essential” such as truck drivers crossing the border, the crews of the flights and of commercial vessels that are not required to observe the quarantine of 14 days. Derogations that were introduced by the local government as necessary for the proper functioning of the territory.
After analysis of samples taken on the latest confirmed cases, the dean of the faculty of medicine of the University of Hong Kong, Gabriel Leung, said on Thursday that the outbreak of the virus originated very probably from this kind of imported cases.
“This might come of crews, and sailors exempt from quarantine”, he estimated.
“When they enter Hong Kong, they are not subject to immediate quarantine or testing. One can imagine that they make in the hotels in the centre”, he explained.
Hong Kong is one of the container ports the world’s most active.
Mr Leung added that, because of the removal of restrictions in June, the small restaurants had become unsafe locations, especially those frequented by taxi drivers.
When the cases have increased at the beginning of the month, the government has decided that the tests would be compulsory for all the crews arrived and forced the agents of sea carriers to accommodate the crews in isolated locations.
The Six boats at anchor in the waters of hong kong have been placed in quarantine because of positive cases on board. The other crew members have been recorded in quarantine on board.