Hong Kong lifts curbs from virus-stricken area as mandatory testing ends

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, wearing a face mask following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, attends a news conference in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has lifted restrictions from a coronavirus-stricken area in the Kowloon Peninsula after the mandatory Covid-19 screening for its residents was completed.

The Hong Kong Special government said in a statement that the seal was lifted from the area on Sunday midnight, Xinhua news agency.

Out of about 7,000 people who were tested, 13 were found to be infected by the virus.

The infected patients and their close contacts were sent to hospitals or quarantine centres.

The restrictions were imposed due to a severe outbreak in the district, with 162 confirmed cases, involving 56 buildings, were reported from January 1 to 20.

The government said it hopes the temporary inconvenience will cut the transmission chains in the district so that social and business activities in the area will be able to resume and lives will return to normal.

More than 3,000 government personnel were mobilised and 51 swab collection stations were set up for the operation.

The government strived to guarantee the daily necessities of local people, providing food packs, face masks and cleaning tools.

Some 50 working staff who can speak Nepali, Urdu and Hindi were also dispatched to assist ethnic minorities to take the tests.

Hong Kong has 10,009 confirmed coronavirus cases and 168 deaths.

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