[The New Paper] HK protesters rally against planned virus quarantine centres
HONG KONG: Hundreds of demonstrators rallied for a second day in Hong Kong yesterday to protest against plans to turn some buildings into Covid-19 quarantine centres, reviving anti-government protests in the Chinese-ruled city.
The virus has opened a new front for protesters after months of demonstrations over the perceived erosion of freedoms had largely fizzled out over the past month, as people stayed at home amid fears of a community outbreak of the virus.
About 100 people braved rain in the New Territories district of Fo Tan, where the authorities plan to use a newly built residential development subsidised by the government as a quarantine centre. Riot police stood by.
A 38-year-old mother of two said she had waited eight years for her home in the Chun Yeung estate and was expecting to get her keys by the end of this month.
"There's no consultation and we don't know how long they'll use Chun Yeung estate. That's why we are so mad," said the woman.
Father-of-two Koby, 36, also expressed frustration at not being told how long the public housing might be used for quarantine.
"I've waited eight years. I have two children studying in kindergarten and have already transferred them to the school in Fo Tan," he said.
Protesters gathered in other districts yesterday.
With Hong Kong property prices among the most expensive in the world, owning a home is a distant dream for many, and frustration over housing has triggered protests in the past.
On Friday, the government sought to appease families that have been allocated a flat in the Fo Tan estate by pledging a special subsidy.
Three weeks ago, protesters set alight the lobby of a newly built residential building in another district in the New Territories that the authorities had planned to use as a quarantine facility. The government dropped the plan.
Hong Kong has had 57 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. One person has died of it in the city.
Some Hong Kong people have called on the city government to seal the border with China to block the virus, but Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has ruled that out. - REUTERS
More News in News
The coronavirus disease outbreak has rapidly spread in China and across the globe, with more than 1,400 deaths and 69,288 confirmed infections in seven weeks. Now, medical experts project that if the virus can not
The coronavirus outbreak has left a large cohort of international students banned from entering the country as the academic year begins. Estimates put the potential cost of the virus at $6 billion to the sector,
The coronavirus death toll continues to rise, making global headlines in the process. In a bid to help, actor Jackie Chan has offered a $140,000 (GHC 746,900) reward in exchange for an antidote. PAY ATTENTION:
Doctor, intellectual, technological official, truth-teller, member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, deputy to the National People's Congress, and hero during the fight against SARS and the novel coronavirus - these are the labels
The coronavirus-hit Chinese economy will grow at its slowest rate since the financial crisis in the current quarter, according to a Reuters poll of economists who said the downturn will be short-lived if the