Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong.
Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images
Hong Kong will put all visitors under quarantine starting midnight on March 19 to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus, chief executive Carrie Lam said at a press briefing.
The government told Hong Kong residents to avoid all non-essential travel.
As of Monday, Hong Kong, which is one of Asia’s major financial hubs, has confirmed 157 cases and four deaths in the city.
The coronavirus, which was first detected in China’s Hubei province, causes the COVID-19 disease that infected at least 168,000 people worldwide and killed more than 6,600 people, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Lam said Hong Kong recorded 57 new cases in recent weeks, and 50 of those cases are imported from overseas and that local transmission remained low. Without taking stringent measures at the moment, Hong Kong’s past efforts to prevent the spread of the disease would go to waste, she said in a translation of her remarks.
Lack of proper measures could lead to community outbreaks and burden Hong Kong’s health care system.