Home General Medical Workers On Strike, Insist On Full Border Closure In Hong Kong.

Medical Workers On Strike, Insist On Full Border Closure In Hong Kong.

HONG KONG, CHINA - FEBRUARY 03: Medical workers hold a strike near Queen Mary Hospital to demand the government shut the city's border with China to reduce the spread of the coronavirus on February 3, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong has 15 confirmed cases of Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), with over 17,000 confirmed cases around the world, the virus has so far claimed over 300 lives. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Sitting on the fence, is a worried nurse, Kaddy Chan who isn’t sure of how to take care of the situation at hand. She wished she could report to duty as usual but A certain circumstance is preventing her from doing so.

For some time now, the outpatient nurse and her colleagues have been struggling with the lessening of supplies of surgical masks and hazmat suits, avoiding taking a step outside the wards to keep their protective gears from getting contaminated.

“If we don’t close the border, no amount of resources would be sufficient to deal with the onslaught of sick people,” Chan said.

Apparently, she was among the more than 3000 people of the hospital’s worker’s union who started to embark on this strike since Monday. It is said to be a week-long strike to pressure the government of this semi-autonomous city to seal off the border with China.

If not all, 90% of the population believe that allowing a full closure will be one of the best ways to flush out travelers who are infected with the novel, coronavirus that has spread to every Chinese province, with more than 300 deaths and 17,000 confirmed cases reported.

Image: bloomberg.com

But authorities have said that fully closing the border would not be in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.

Hong Kong has been reported to have less number of reported cases as compared to Thailand or Japan and this sounds like they have the outbreak under control.

Twenty-two years after the former British colony was returned to Chinese sovereignty, Hong Kong has forged myriad connections with the mainland to facilitate the constant flow of goods and people.

With the mainland just a 45-minute bus or subway ride away, many commuters and retirees lured by lower costs of living have made their home north of the border.

According to some estimates, nearly one in five of the 7.4 million Hong Kong residents is a recent migrant from mainland China.

Image: aljazeera.com

Under the “one country, two systems” framework, authorities in Hong Kong can close off the border entirely but have called the move “impracticable”.

In response to the strike, authorities are set to close four more crossings by midnight on Tuesday, still leaving the airport and two other seaports open to mainland visitors. Last Sunday, the ports saw more than 7,000 crossings from the mainland as travellers returned from Lunar New Year trips.



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