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Mandatory Covid-19 tests to be imposed in ‘core zone’ as 56 new cases recorded

19 January 2021

By The SUN 

CE Lam says testing will be compulsory for residents within a designated area in Yau Ma Tei

The government has ordered coronavirus tests for residents within what it called a “core zone” in Jordan and Yau Ma Tei, even if not a single positive case had been found in their buildings.

The measure was announced early today, Jan 19, by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, ahead of reports that 56 new Covid-19 cases had been recorded in the city in the past 24 hours, all but one of them locally acquired.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The new cases included 31 recorded from the virus-plagued districts of Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok (YauTsimMong).

"We will request residents living in buildings within this 'core zone' to undergo mandatory coronavirus tests. We will not wait until the first cases emerge at these buildings," Hong Kong’s top official said.

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The designated area is bound by Pak Hoi Street, Temple Street, Ning Po Street and Reclamation Street.

The CE, who spoke before the weekly Executive Council meeting, also said mandatory testing will be extended to residents in a designated area in Sham Shui Po, as soon as one case was found in one of the buildings there.


This area is bordered by Yen Chow Street, Tai Po Road, Maple Street and Lai Chi Kok Road.

Lam said the testing boost is aimed at finding infected people quickly to stop the transmission of the virus.

Dozens of buildings in the two targeted areas were said to have “poor environment” with no management whatsoever.

Pindutin para sa detalye

At the same time, Lam announced that the strict social distancing measures currently in place, including a ban on restaurant dine-ins after 6pm, and a prohibition on the public gathering of more than two people, will be extended for at least another week.

Health officials in the daily press briefing on Covid-19 report 56 new cases

Meanwhile, health authorities reported that more than 60 preliminary cases had been identified, including about 30 from screening stations in Yau Tsim Mong.

Of the 56 new cases, only one was imported, involving a newly arrived foreign domestic worker from Indonesia.


Despite the drop in imported cases due largely to the new 21-day quarantine, authorities have decided to step up border controls further by banning flights from Brazil and Ireland, where more infectious variants of the virus were found recently.

The 55 local cases included 23 which were untraceable.


Yesterday’s new month-long record of 107 cases sparked fears of a rebound in infections, but CE Lam was quick to allay the concerns.

“I understand people might find the recording of more than 100 cases worrying,” Lam said. “But the spike could have been triggered by the strengthening of compulsory testing.”

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She also dismissed suggestions the spread of the virus in old tenement buildings in YauTsimMong was due to the predominantly East Asian make-up of residents there.

“There is absolutely no suggestion of the spread of disease relating to race or ethnicity,” Lam said. “If there is any misunderstanding arising from any remarks made by any officials, I made it absolutely clear here.”

She was referring to statements made by a health official Monday that members of ethnic groups in the area were engaging in behavior that put them at risk.

The new cases drove up the city’s total coronavirus tall to 9,720 with 164 related deaths.

The latest casualty was an 80-year-old woman who passed on in Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital Monday night.


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