Help for Japan cruise passengers

February 14, 2020

(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Secretary for Security John Lee today said the Government has sent four immigration officers to help Hong Kong residents quarantined for the novel coronavirus on a cruise ship in Japan and to liaise with authorities there.


During a press conference with the Chief Executive and other principal officials, Mr Lee said the immigration officers together with officers from the economic and trade office in Japan and Chinese embassy officials have been keeping in contact with the Hong Kong citizens. 


He added that the Hong Kong SAR Government had indicated to Japanese authorities to consider allowing the Hong Kong residents to be quarantined on land and for them to be tested for the virus as soon as possible.


“We learnt that Japanese authorities will be conducting tests by selecting people, as the first batch, who are over 70 years old together with symptoms such as fever. 


“Those who test positive will be sent to hospital for treatment. Those who test negative, they will be given a choice to either do the quarantine onboard the ship or on land. We understand that there is one Hong Kong lady over 80 who will be in the first batch of testing.”


Mr Lee also noted that the Security Bureau has set up a working group to look at how the Hong Kong passengers can return home as soon as possible. 


Officials in the working group include officers from the Security Bureau, Immigration Department, the Food & Health Bureau, Health Department and various government departments which are experienced in arranging transport and offering assistance.


“What we are doing is liaising closely with Japanese authorities so as to get first-hand information as quickly as possible. 


“Some questions we want to get answers from Japanese authorities include how soon will these Hong Kong people be allowed to disembark, how soon they will be allowed to leave Japan for Hong Kong, whether they will be allowed to disembark in groups, how big each group will be, how many days it may take.”


Mr Lee added the immigration officers have provided around 50 Hong Kong people on board with the medicine they need, while about 17 or 18 people have received the required medicine through the cruise.

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