China’s Xi calls on Hong Kong officials to get COVID-19 outbreak under control

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged Hong Kong officials to get its current COVID-19 outbreak under control, The Associated Press reported.

Xi’s Vice Premier Han Zheng expressed concerns to Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam about the city’s ongoing outbreak.

Xi is cited as saying Hong Kong’s local government “overriding task” was to control the ongoing spread of the virus, according to the AP.

The city of Hong Kong is currently facing its worst outbreak of virus cases, reaching 2,000 new daily cases this week alone.

Hong Kong Hospital Authority’s chief manager for patient safety and risk management Sara Ho told the newswire that thousands of city residents have tested positive for the virus and are waiting for admission to hospitals or isolation facilities, calling the situation “undesirable.”

“This situation is undesirable. Therefore, we are looking for ways with the government to set up more isolation facilities. We hope to shorten the patients’ waiting time,” Ho said.

Zheng said the city’s government “should earnestly assume the main responsibility and regard the rapid stabilization and control of the epidemic as the current overriding task, ‘but added that government officials will provide Hong Kong with resources to fight the outbreak, the AP reported.

This comes as Chinese officials have been able to the virus spread by imposing a strict “zero-tolerance” policy that includes virus lockdowns, extensive contact tracing, and mass testing for residents.

Some Hong Kong residents expressed their displeasure with the government response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the AP noted.

“The reason why our society has become chaotic like this today is all because of this policy. The organizational skill of the government has made Hong Kong people feel so hopeless,” city resident Daisy Ho told the AP.

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