Hong Kong has started implementing a mandatory two-week quarantine on February 8 for anyone arriving from mainland China, as per reports. In a bid to take preventive measures, Hong Kong has taken this drastic measure to stop the deadly coronavirus from spreading. According to the reports, a vast majority of officials crossing the border are expected to self-quarantine and may face daily phone calls and spot check by officials. Anyone found violating the isolation period can face up to six months of imprisonment.
Authorities hope this measure will halt cross-border traffic. The arrivals have reportedly declined by 75 per cent in recent weeks with thousands queued up in neighbouring Shenzhen on Friday night to beat the midnight deadline before the new quarantine rule. The Hong Kong officials announced how the quarantine would work on Friday evening, just six hours before the new policy became effective. The residents of Hong Kong are allowed to self-quarantine at home and the mainland and international visitors at hotels or other accommodation they have arranged. The officials said that anyone who has been to mainland China in the past 14 days and then flies to Hong Kong from another destination will also be quarantined.
The death toll due to the deadly coronavirus in China has reached reportedly 722, according to the authorities on Saturday. According to the country's health officials, the number of people, who died of the deadly coronavirus in the Hubei province has risen to 699. The number of infected people has also increased to more than 31000. During the daily briefing on Friday, the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that there is a lack of protective gear and medical supplies in the region, with the cost of each, are up to 20 times higher.
He said, "the world is facing severe disruption in the market for personal protective equipment. Demand is up to 100 times higher than normal and prices are up to 20 times higher. This situation has been exacerbated by widespread, inappropriate use of PPE outside patient care. As a result, there are now depleted stockpiles and backlogs of 4 to 6 months. Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient to meet the needs of WHO and our partners."