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CE says Covid patients to be put in public estates & hotels, but rules out lockdown

15 February 2022

By The SUN 

CE says a citywide lockdown is not part of her government's plans

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has unveiled plans to convert three public housing estates in the New Territories into quarantine facilities for Covid-19 patients, as the number of infections continued to mount today, Feb 15.

Speaking ahead of the Excutive Council meeting, CE Lam also said she plans to negotiate with hotel industry representatives on turning up to 10,000 hotel rooms into isolation facilities.


She made the announcement shortly before health officials revealed that 5,400 preliminary positive patients were waiting to be moved to hospitals or quarantine facilities due to a lack of space.

Despite the continuing surge in infections, the city’s top official dismissed talks of a citywide lockdown.


“As far as Hong Kong is concerned, we need to find our own way out of this epidemic, and so far, our measures to contain the spread of a disease remain a legitimate and valid one…I would have to say it very clearly that we have no plans for any widespread city lockdown as you have seen in some of the other places,” she said.

Mrs Lam identified the three public housing units to be used for patient quarantine as Blocks 1 and 7 of Queen’s Hill Estate in Fanling, and Heng King House of Lai Kai Estate.


A total of 3,000 units will be made available in these estates, each of which can house a family with confirmed cases.

Two blocks in Queen's Hill Estate will be turned into a quarantine centre for patients

She said the plan is nothing new, as this was the same thing done two years ago at the start of the pandemic, when Chun Yeung Estate in Fo Tan was temporarily used as a quarantine site.


In addition, she said she will hold talks with hotel representatives in a bid to secure thousands of rooms, preferably in just one big hotel, for use as quarantine facilities.

“My target is to get them to agree to a plan - it's not an individual negotiation, which has been the modus operandi previously - we approach individual hotels one by one and discuss the terms and conditions with them one by one. That is not efficient anymore,” she said.

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“So we will do a wholesale plan and require them to sign on the plan, so as to deliver a few thousand, up to 10,000 of the rooms within a short period of time,” she said.


The CE added that although she has the power under Cap599 to compel the hotels to agree to the government plan, she does not want to take that option, as she’d rather work on getting them to cooperate.

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