Hong Kong authorities have announced that everyone entering the city from China will from Saturday undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the measure Wednesday which will reduce the flow of visitors to the city, where several people have demanded a complete closure of the borders with mainland China.
Lam told reporters she could assure this is a very strict measure, adding that after implementing previous measures, travellers to Hong Kong went from 170,991 on January 29 to 28,675 on Tuesday, adding that this number would again fall.
Thursday is the fourth consecutive day of a strike by Hong Kong health personnel who demand, among other things, a total closure of the borders with mainland China.
Four of 14 border crossings remain open.
The Chief Executive said the closure would not be practical given the close relationship between the two territories, adding that it would affect the supply of food and other goods into Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has so far confirmed one death among the 21 infected there by the virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.
Other than the Hong Kong casualty, the virus has left at least 563 dead among the 28,018 infected in mainland China, with another death registered in the Philippines.
Although about 20 countries have identified cases, China accounts for about 99 per cent of those infected.
(With agency inputs)