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Saturday, Jun 25, 2022

Lam stays course aMID cloud over july 1 visits

Lam stays course aMID cloud over july 1 visits

With just over two weeks to go until July 1, authorities are still unable to tell for sure whether state leaders will visit the SAR on its handover anniversary.
Outgoing chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said they are doing everything they can to create favorable conditions for it to happen, including strictly following the Covid restrictions.

Lam believed rising Covid infections would not pose much of a threat to celebrations for the city's 25th handover anniversary so long as people comply with health regulations.

She said although international chambers and finance institutions have requested authorities relax border restrictions, including scrapping compulsory hotel quarantines, the SAR must remain cautious, adding she has explained this to chambers and consulates in person.

Lam reiterated yesterday that she would not significantly relax existing social distancing measures during her tenure, which ends in two weeks.

Rather, social distancing measures will mostly be carried forward for another 14 days from tomorrow.

She said if the new government led by John Lee Ka-chiu decides to tighten measures again after assuming office on July 1, the inconsistent policies will cause confusion.

She said her officials have contacted the chief executive-elect's office to provide an account of pandemic information and expert opinions so that the incoming government can closely examine pandemic prevention measures.

Lam also said that the pandemic situation in Hong Kong is currently under control.

She vowed to continue stepping up measures with law enforcement and vaccine promotion.

With only a small number or even zero daily Covid deaths, Lam said it is "not socially acceptable" to impose further restrictions on businesses.

Meanwhile, police commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee said he is also unsure about whether state leaders will come for the 25th handover anniversary, but added the force has been planning security arrangements for July 1 since early last year.

To ensure that everything is in order, the force, including special forces, back-end officers and auxiliary police, will be fully mobilized and will also send out additional officers in plain clothes to keep an eye out for any suspicious personnel or activity.

Siu said police's "anti-terrorism hotline" has received over 1,100 reports since its launch last Wednesday and police are following up on the tips received.

"In the first four months of this year, there were more than 19,000 crimes, which is a drop of more than 3 percent over the same period last year, indicating that Hong Kong's law and order situation is stable with a number of major crimes having fallen. We will continue to do a good job of fighting crime," Siu said.

While robberies, burglaries, woundings and serious drug crimes have declined, homicides, frauds and other crimes have become more prevalent.

Some 70 percent of fraud cases are linked to online scams - mainly shopping, job hunt and investing ones.

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