- Now is the time for the government to take action and also use Disneyland, Ocean Park and cruise ships for quarantine and treatment
Disneyland, Ocean Park and cruise ships should now be used to treat suspected cases of coronavirus and for quarantine. Hongkongers still stranded in Hubei should be evacuated and flown back quickly to the city to be cared for by our own medical professionals. Why the government is not doing any of these things as a priority is anyone's guess.
The government should have learned, but still hasn't, that its current plan to use existing public clinics and vacant public estates for such purposes will meet with violent opposition and protests. These are orchestrated by the same anti-government groups of the past eight months.
But now that many of them have taken over district councils as elected members, they have even better resources and information, such as which clinic in each district is being proposed for use.
Health officials may think it's fair to assign one public clinic in each of the 18 districts to treat suspected cases of the virus, now officially known as Covid-19. But since anti-government groups and the pan-democratic opposition have taken over all but one district council, that effectively encourages all of them to coordinate resistance.
Hundreds protest against quarantine sites in four locations
Given the relatively small number of protesters at the weekend, it may well be that most neighbours are less concerned about the health threat, which is simply being exploited by those protest groups.
But health officials will not convince those protesters and district councillors in the opposition, however reasonable their arguments or plans may be. They cannot be won over. So, stop wasting time when there is so little trust between the government and the public. Do the sensible thing. Disneyland has already agreed to lend a 60-hectare vacant plot to build quarantine facilities.
The government says how fast the 2,200 Hong Kong residents stuck in Wuhan can be evacuated depends on finding facilities to quarantine them. Well, build those facilities now at the Disney site; that will likely be faster than negotiating with those district council members/protesters. And, as lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun has suggested, cruise ships can be chartered to quarantine the first batch of returnees. Worst comes to worst, Ocean Park, now closed because of the virus, can also be commandeered as a quarantine site.
The priority now is for the government to take care of Hong Kong people's health. This includes taking care of those stuck on the mainland and bringing them home quickly.
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