World

Hong Kong turns holiday camps into quarantine zones

HONG KONG: Hong Kong will turn two holiday camps into quarantine zones for people who may have come into contact with carriers of the Wuhan virus, officials announced yesterday.

The international financial hub has been on high alert for the virus since the outbreak started in central China.

The same sites were used as quarantine facilities during the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak 17 years ago.

"We will have a full team of staff to operate the quarantine camps," Mr Wong Ka Hing, the director of the Centre for Health Protection, told reporters.

Mr Wong said three people who had come into close contact with two confirmed cases would be taken to a camp in the rural Sai Kung district.

Another holiday camp, a former British military barracks on Hong Kong island, was being prepared to serve as a quarantine facility.

The three people are the wife of one of the confirmed cases and two medical staff, health officials said.

Those who test positive for the Wuhan virus will then be treated in isolation wards at the city's hospitals, but the holiday camp quarantine zones will lower the risk of the virus spreading while people await results.

Yesterday, health officials were questioned by reporters on why they were not advising all arrivals at the city's high-speed train link with China to fill out health declaration forms.

"We are now actively considering to extend the compulsory health declaration to cover the high-speed rail link," Mr Wong said. - AFP

WORLD