Hong Kong is imposing a temporary lockdown on residents in coronavirus hotspots — a first in the city’s battle against Covid-19.
In a statement released early Saturday, the Hong Kong government made a “restriction-testing declaration”, which requires residents from parts of the bustling neighborhood of Jordan to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing arranged by the government.
Jordan, in the Kowloon peninsula, is a dense and thriving urban area with high-rise apartments, businesses and restaurants. The lockdown area includes Temple Street, home to the iconic night market popular with tourists.
Residents from buildings in the designated area will be prohibited from leaving their homes until testing has been completed. The government says the compulsory testing is expected to take 48 hours.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for the Environment, Wong Kam-sin, said in a news conference Saturday that water from the pipes of several buildings in the area was being tested to ascertain whether the coronavirus is spreading through sewage.
In a separate statement Saturday, the Hong Kong government announced that roads in the “restricted area” would be closed to traffic.
Hong Kong recorded 61 new Covid-19 on Friday, including 55 local transmissions.