21st January 2022 – (Hong Kong) A total of 20 confirmed cases were recorded involving 13 units in 12 floors at Yat Kwai House, Kwai Chung Estate indicating possible multiple transmission chains of Omicron variant. The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr.Sophie Chan, said today that after an expert investigation, it was concluded that the residents at Yat Kwai House in Kwai Chung Estate did not need to be evacuated. However, due to the number of confirmed cases involved, the authorities decided to issue a restriction testing declaration to Yat Kwai House for a period of five days until 26th January. The building has 2,700 people. Residents must be quarantined at home from today to next Wednesday (26th) and conduct daily virus tests to detect latent cases. The authorities will provide daily meals to residents, and the building was under lockdown from 6pm today.
As a result, the Government today exercised the power under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap. 599J) to make a “restriction-testing declaration” (declaration) effective from 6pm, under which people (hereafter referred to as “persons subject to compulsory testing”) within the specified “restricted area” in Kwai Chung (i.e. Yat Kwai House, Kwai Chung Estate) are required to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing.
The Government aims at finishing this exercise at about 7am on 26th January. Persons subject to compulsory testing are required to stay in their premises and undergo five tests under designated arrangement, until all such persons identified in the “restricted area” have undergone testing and the test results are mostly ascertained, and upon agreement of the Secretary for Food and Health having regard to all the circumstances and public interest of Hong Kong.
After the government sealed off the building for 5 days from tonight (21st), panic buying frenzy started as residents returned to the building with several bags of groceries.
The nearby supermarket in Kwai Fong Plaza even sold out some products such as cup noodles, bread, potato chips, drinks, etc. At about 7.30pm, government staff started to deliver meal boxes and green tea drinks. There were several options for the dinner boxes, including winter melon with spareribs, eggplants with stewed chicken, and chicken rice with marinated sausages .
Some residents hope that the Hong Kong government will compensate them for their losses during the 5-day quarantine period.
Meanwhile, all residents received fruits and drinks this evening and many residents said that the meal boxes look better than the food served at Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre.