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Sunday, Jul 05, 2020

Hong Kong 'will fall' unless bars are shut: expert

Hong Kong 'will fall' unless bars are shut: expert

A health expert from the Medical Association has called on the government to close all bars in the city for 14 days, amid a rising number of Covid-19 cases linked to entertainment venues.
Dr Leung Chi-chiu, who chairs the association’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, warned that unless drastic action is taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 in bars, then Hong Kong will “fall like other cities in no time”.

Speaking to RTHK, Leung said that closing bars is necessary given that a large number of people are linked to a virus cluster surrounding Lan Kwai Fong, and that there has been a “progressive generation of transmission” spreading to different bars.

“The company provides the bands to different pubs, and different pubs have different customers, and the customers they also go to other pubs,” he said.

“Unless we take determined action to close up, I think, all these pubs in the 14 days, we might not be able to terminate the transmission train there, and if we allow the transmission train to continue, the number will multiply."

Leung said that restaurants should limit the number of people dining at any one time and space customers out, but said that proposals to limit the size of social gatherings was “not a useful way” of curbing the spread of the virus..

“I think if each table has only even four persons, if all the tables are crowded together you still have a lot of people inside the venue, and that is not a useful way I think of limiting the transmission."

Health officials announced on Thursday that around 120 people linked to four bars in Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai were being quarantined after 16 coronavirus cases were tied to the venues.

On Wednesday, Executive Council member Lam Ching-choi said the government is looking at new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, including limiting the number of people who can get together at one time, or banning gatherings completely at certain times of day.

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