Hong Kong politicians despatched to quarantine after celebration

Those despatched to quarantine camp embody home affairs secretary Caspar Tsui and immigration chief Au Ka-wang.

Dozens of senior Hong Kong officers and politicians had been ordered into quarantine on Friday after well being officers found a second preliminary coronavirus case at a celebration attended by lots of the metropolis’s political elite.

“All the people present at the party need to be quarantined,” mentioned Chuang Shuk-kwan from Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection.

Home affairs secretary Caspar Tsui was despatched to the quarantine camp on Thursday after being deemed a detailed contact with a possible provider.

By Friday, he was joined by 4 different politicians and immigration chief Au Ka-wang – all of whom attended a celebration on Monday at a tapas restaurant.

“I offer my sincere apology to all people of Hong Kong. I have reflected on this incident and shall be more vigilant in future,” Au mentioned in an announcement.

He added he was on the restaurant for a short while and “left immediately after congratulating my friend without having a meal sitting down”.

“I feel I acted carelessly and I rather regret it,” lawmaker Duncan Chiu informed native radio. “This has set a bad example.”

Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam has mentioned she was “very disappointed” within the giant gathering of officers.

It was held to have fun the birthday of Witman Hung, a member of China’s high lawmaking physique, in line with native media.

Omicron outbreak

While the social gathering was authorized underneath rules on the time, well being officers suggested folks three days earlier to keep away from large gatherings.

The authorities upped COVID-19 restrictions this week after a small outbreak of the Omicron variant was traced to a flight crew member.

Multiple native retailers ran a photograph displaying Hung singing right into a microphone together with his arm across the shoulder of a smiling girl, each unmasked.

Hung, who apologised late on Thursday, has additionally been despatched to quarantine, native media mentioned.

The social gathering was additionally attended by 9 senior authorities officers – together with town’s police chief and anti-corruption company head – however they weren’t ordered to quarantine as they left the venue earlier than the suspected COVID provider arrived.

Earlier this week, Lam mentioned the airline should take duty for aircrew breaching isolation rules even when “they may not know their employees’ every act”.

Asked by reporters on Thursday whether or not she ought to do the identical, Lam mentioned it will be “bad for governance” if she took duty for the behaviour of her ministers who had been anticipated to steer by instance.

It is just not the primary time officers have discovered themselves in scorching water over well being rules.

Last 12 months, three immigration officers, together with Au, had been fined after they broke social distancing rules to eat hotpot at a luxurious clubhouse with a mainland property developer.

Legislative Council assembly

The newest high-profile entries into Hong Kong’s 21-day quarantine services have left metropolis authorities red-faced as they set up a brand new “patriots only” legislature, which is scheduled to carry its first assembly subsequent Wednesday.

Officials individually confirmed the lawmakers despatched to the quarantine facility will miss the beginning of the legislative time period as president of the Legislative Council, Andrew Leung, mentioned he hoped subsequent week’s assembly can proceed as deliberate.

A brand new group of 90 metropolis politicians was chosen final month underneath new rules imposed by Beijing, which vetted all candidates for “patriotism”.

Only 20 had been instantly elected amid document low turnout, with the remaining chosen by reliably pro-Beijing committees.

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