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Second Kwai Chung block locked down for 5 days

22 January 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

CE Lam ordered lockdowns on 6 blocks in Kwai Chung Estate, 2 for 5 days

The Hong Kong government has ordered a second building in Kwai Chung Estate to be locked down for five days, imposed a one-day lockdown on four other blocks, and ordered a compulsory testing order for the remaining 11 blocks in the estate.

The moves were announced earlier tonight by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, as it emerged that the number of infections in Yat Kwai House during an overnight lockdown had hit almost 100, with more cases being detected at the nearby Ying Kwai and two more buildings in the estate.

Lam said that the one-day lockdown originally imposed on Ying Kwai and was supposed to end at 7pm today would continue for another four days. 


She apologized for the government's inability to provide dinner to residents tonight because of a lack of time, but said all meals will be delivered to them for the next four days, as what was done for those in Yat Kwai.

The overnight lockdown and testing will cover Hiu Kwai House, Chin Kwai House, Yuk Kwai House and Nga Kwai House.

CE said that a few minutes before the press briefing she learned that someone had tested preliminary positive at Chin Kwai House, while one case was also detected at Hiu Kwai House.

While no infections have yet been found in the two other buildings she said they are located close to the other buildings so it was necessary to put all of them under lockdown.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Around 35,000 people living in the estate will be subjected to Covid-19 tests daily as a result of the orders, but Mrs Lam said the government has the capacity to carry out the orders. 

Yesterday, she said 150,000 tests were carried out. This included the tests done on all 2,700 residents of Yat Kwai house.

At Ying Kwai House, the results from the first batch of 940 tests done on residents there yielded between eight and 10 preliminary positive results, said the CE.


Asked about the two preliminary positive cases found at nearby Tai Wo Hau Estate, Mrs Lam admitted that there was also a risk of an outbreak there, but said the government will observe the developments there and “will roll out measures as necessary.”

The CE is joined by 4 top officials in announcing the expanded lockdown

Edwin Hui, controller of the Centre for Health Protection, said the outbreak appeared to have been caused by a parttime cleaner who was infected by a man who collected salvageable items from various garbage dumps in the estate.

As the cleaner did not have a permanent assignment, she would have gone to different buildings and floors while collecting garbage. A second cleaner was among those who tested preliminary positive today.

Hui said the virus was found on the lift buttons on the eighth floor of Yat Kwai House and the door handle in the refuse room on the 7th floor, where only cleaners had access. So, it’s believed there had been both environmental and air transmission in the building.


Asked whether the outbreak could have been prevented had the government acted faster, CE Lam said officials had already acted as quickly as possible, and that they are always striving to do their best and improve their performance each time.

She advised all residents of the estate to listen to instructions from the government and those who are not under a lockdown to remain home as much as possible. If they work in high-risk jobs like nurses or those who work in old-age homes, they should not go to work.

She also urged everyone who has not yet received a vaccine to get vaccinated as soon as possible. While noting that 77.7% of eligible Hong Kong people have had at least one dose of a vaccine, she said there is a need for more people to take jabs, especially those who are vulnerable like the elderly and children.


Asked if she intended to keep the government’s zero infection policy despite the rapid spread of the Omicron variant as shown in the Kwai Chung outbreak, Mrs Lam reiterated this did not mean absolute zero infection.

“The important thing is under our strategy, we strengthen our capacity to tackle these episodic outbreaks in order to suppress the spread of the variant as soon as possible so that there will not be a massive community outbreak in Hong Kong,” she said.

The alternative of opening up borders and ending social distancing measures are not advisable as Hong Kong does not possess the pre-requisites for going down that route, she added.

For one thing, she said Hong Kong’s vaccination rate is only 77.55% compared with over 90% for places like the Mainland and Singapore. While Omicron is said to cause less severe illness it does cause fatalities throughout the world, especially among the unvaccinated.

So for now, Hong Kong intends to continue pursuing the strategy it has taken in the past two years of the pandemic. But she promised to continuously review and improve strategies to make life a little less difficult for people in Hong Kong.


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