HomeWorld NewsHong Kong quarantines all 100 guests of scandal-hit birthday party

Hong Kong quarantines all 100 guests of scandal-hit birthday party

Image caption,

A view from a room in Penny’s Bay quarantine centre, Hong Kong

At least 100 people in Hong Kong including top government officials have been sent into quarantine after they were found to have attended a large birthday party.

Leader Carrie Lam had said she was “disappointed” to hear about the event that involved the city’s elite.

The party was legal at the time despite a government warning against large gatherings.

Hong Kong imposed strict new Covid restrictions this week.

Dining-in after 18:00 has been banned and venues like bars and gyms will be closed, after a small local outbreak of the Omicron variant was discovered in the city.

“We have been mounting an all-out effort in fighting the epidemic. As top government officials, there is all the more reason for us to set a good example and avoid attending private gatherings that may pose a major hazard,” Ms Lam said at an earlier briefing.

Local reports say the party was held to celebrate the birthday of Witman Hung, a member of China’s top lawmaking body.

Immigration chief Au Ka-wang and Home Affairs Secretary Caspar Tsui were among the party’s guests, along with at least four lawmakers.

The officials are likely to all be sent to the controversial Penny’s Bay quarantine centre in Hong Kong.

Though Hong Kong has seen barely any local coronavirus cases in recent months, the city has imposed an extensive testing and quarantine regime, in line with mainland China’s zero Covid policy.

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