Hong Kong's equality watchdog chief said on Wednesday that restaurants and private clinics that turn away Covid patients may violate the city’s anti-discrimination law.
Speaking in an interview, the chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission Ricky Chu Man-kin said he was recently made known of situations where restaurants refused to let Covid
patients dine in, while some private clinics turned away the patients citing the lack of Covid
Chu said if the restaurants and clinics refused to provide services to Covid
patients - they were treated less favorably than others without it- such actions might be considered discriminatory.
He added there must be a reasonable explanation to justify such actions.
Meanwhile, he noted that restaurant staffers could not determine if someone was infected with Covid
, so they should serve those people as usual.
As for private clinics that turn away Covid
patients citing the lack of anti-viral drugs, Chu said the medical sector has previously noted that not all Covid
patients require Covid
drugs for treatment.
He said some patients with mild symptoms could be treated as if they caught the flu or upper respiratory infection, so turning them away due to the lack of Covid
drugs would not be a reasonable explanation.
However, the watchdog chief said it is difficult to draw a hard line to determine what actions are discriminatory, adding that the commission has yet to receive any similar complaints.