In a bid to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam announced on Tuesday that Hong Kong will be halting the high-speed rail and ferry links with mainland China. Lam's decision comes amid growing fears of the new coronavirus and the speed with which it is spreading in China.
Lam stated on Tuesday that her decision was meant as a measure to try and limit the spread of the new coronavirus. In addition to the suspension of the high-speed rail and the intercity through train between Hong Kong and China, the number of flights going to the mainland has also reduced. The personal travel permits of citizens also stand suspended.
Lam during her speech also urged all Hong Kong residents who were in the mainland to return and also submit themselves for voluntary quarantine for at least 14 days. During the press conference, Lam was flanked by the city’s health secretary, Sophia Chan and commerce secretary, Edward Yau since the city's financial markets were set to reopen following the break for the Lunar New Year.
Health Secretary in the conference stated that Hong Kong has eight confirmed cases and 100 in quarantine and under observation. Hong Kong has been battling anti-governmental protests for the last seven months and the city's judiciary announced that all court hearings from Wednesday till February 2 would be adjourned.
Recently in a breakthrough discovery, Australian scientists have successfully replicated the deadly new coronavirus in a laboratory. The authorities claimed that this constitutes a great breakthrough and moving forward this may allow the development of a vaccine that can be used for treatment.
The lab-grown samples will also help in identifying people who have the disease.
Deputy Director of Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Dr Mike Catton told media that the samples will be used to generate antibodies that would help researchers and medical professionals to test suspected patients even if they don't outwardly show the symptoms. The antibodies will also help scientists determine the true mortality rate of the virus.
(with inputs from agencies)