Hubei returnees’ quarantine modified

March 26, 2020

 (To watch the whole media briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government has modified the quarantine measures for the second batch of people returning from Hubei and will place them under home quarantine.


Under Secretary for Food & Health Dr Chui Tak-yi explained the background to the decision at today's press briefing on the latest COVID-19 situation, noting that the infection risk of Mainland returnees was lower than that of people coming back from overseas.


“So we have modified the quarantine measures of the second batch of people returning from Hubei. In the context that the second batch of returnees is from cities outside Wuhan within Hubei Province, we made the decision that this second batch of returnees from Hubei would require home quarantine.”


Dr Chui said the Government, in considering the infection risk, had looked at the figures reported publicly - both on the Mainland and overseas - and noticed that from early this month until now, the number of new cases on the Mainland had dropped significantly to double digits per day, compared to a steep rise overseas.


“The number of new cases in many places in other parts of the world has risen very steeply. The new cases per day may be hundreds, thousands and many thousands, and the trend is increasing.


“Definitely from this trend, you can conclude that the relative risk of people coming from the Mainland versus those coming from overseas is different. It is certainly higher in say, March for people coming back from overseas places.


“So it is a conclusion that perhaps in March, especially in the recent one or two weeks, the risk of Mainland returnees is definitely lower than that of people coming back from overseas.”


He added that tests on more than 400 Hubei returnees had also provided a reference for the level of infection risk in bringing people back from the province.


“There is only one confirmed case so far out of the 460-odd people returning from Wuhan and Hubei. So that is also one figure worth noting and that may tell us the level of risk as a reference.”


Dr Chui reiterated that the second batch of Hubei returnees would still undergo stringent health checks throughout the whole process of returning to Hong Kong.

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