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Hongkongers out in droves as no new Covid-19 case reported for 5th straight day

30 April 2020

By The SUN

About 6,000 holidaymakers went to Cheung Chau for the traditional bun festival (photo by Albert Lau)
Taking advantage of the pleasant weather on the first day of a long weekend holiday, thousands of people flocked to beaches and other popular leisure places, including Cheung Chau for the traditional bun festival today, Apr 30.

The holidaymakers’ mood was made more buoyant by news that there was again no new case of Covid-19 being detected in the city for the fifth day in a row. Of the total tally of 1,038, only 188 remain in hospitals today, for a recovery rate of 82%.

A big number of those who went out to enjoy the sun on Buddha’s Birthday traveled to Cheung Chau Island, undeterred by news that traditional festivities like the bun-scrambling contest and the floating colors parade had been canceled as part of social-distancing measures.

Organizers had hoped police would make an exception for the religious parade for “sending gods” that had formed part of the island’s celebration for more than a century, but were disappointed.

This was despite their proposal to walk four to a group, with 1.5 meters separating the groups, in conformity with the government’s prohibition on mass gatherings.

The same arrangement was offered earlier by organizers of tomorrow’s May Day parade on Hong Kong island, but it was also rejected by the police.

Despite the absence of the traditional features of the festival, visitors stayed on, praying at the big temple and buying treats, including the traditional peace buns which were displayed prominently on sidewalk stalls.

Nevertheless, the New World Ferry Services reported that the number of visitors was just under 6,000, which was only about half of last year's crowd.

Saikung was another favorite destination of people out to enjoy another Covid-free day
Thousands others flocked to beaches, with many without masks, and disregarding the four-to-a-group rule. Others said that even if they wanted to conform to the restriction, the huge number of people on the beach made it impossible.

Tomorrow would likely see more people coming out, as it is a statutory holiday, which means the more than 400,000 foreign domestic workers in the city will also be having a day off.

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