Covid: Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam on Why She’s Not Wearing a Face Mask

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Covid: Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam on Why She’s Not Wearing a Face Mask” – below is their description.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam explained “once and for all” why she’s not wearing a face mask at press conferences despite rising Covid-19 cases in the city.

“People need to understand and feel my feeling,” said Lam. “Now, I’m very worried.”

Hong Kong is unlikely to significantly relax its Covid measures after the Lunar New Year holiday, Lam added. The city has recorded 226 positive and preliminary positive cases linked to a public housing estate in Kwai Chung as of Jan. 24

Lam said the government is working to improve support for residents in lockdown as the city races to contain the Covid-19 outbreak at the Kwai Chung Estate. Infections at the estate’s Yat Kwai House make up the core of the cluster, said Lam.

The sudden surge in case numbers has unnerved Hong Kong authorities, who hadn’t reported any local transmissions for more than seven months through late December. The city is now battling new waves of infections from both the omicron and delta variants of the virus.

Even limited lockdowns and restrictions on movement create a heavy toll for residents in the densely populated city, which has some of the smallest living spaces in the world. The average apartment size is about 500 square feet. Flats in public estates, such as the one that is currently under lockdown, are usually smaller in size.

Hong Kong has shut schools, banned flight routes, ended indoor restaurant dining after 6 p.m. and closed bars, gyms and beauty parlors since the emergence of omicron in the past weeks.

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In This Story: COVID-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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In This Story: Hong Kong

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

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In This Story: Lockdown

During the 2020 Covid-19 epidemic, lockdown has come to mean the practice of attempting to control transmission of the virus by means of restricting people’s movement and activities on a broad scale, usually on a national or state-wide basis.

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In This Story: Omicron

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 (also known as B.1.1.529) has been declared a Variant of Concern.

The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses if specific mutations and combinations of mutations alter the behaviour of the virus. The TAG-VE was convened on 26 November 2021 to assess the SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529 – which is known as Omicron – the group declared the variant a Variant of Concern.

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