The 14-day quarantine applies to Chinese, Hong Kong people, foreigners. The strike continues for medical personnel who want the total closure of the borders with China. A ship with 3600 passengers stranded at the Kai Tak terminal. The diocese advises the faithful not to go to mass to avoid large gatherings. It is suggested to pray at home with the bible, follow mass on television, recite the rosary. Those who go to church are asked to use masks, stay away from each other, not to sing.

by Paul Wang

02/06/2020, 11.39

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – All those arriving from China to Hong Kong will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. The head of the territorial executive Carrie Lam announced yesterday, specifying that the order applies to Chinese, Hong Kong and foreigners. The quarantine will be prepared from 8 February to better clarify the regulations and give time to travelers to modify their travel plans.

Lam’s decision seems to meet requests from autonomous unions of doctors and nurses who have been calling for the total closure of communications with China for weeks. Faced with the government’s refusal, they have started a strike for four days. Lam has reduced the communication routes with China: it has closed some ports and communication routes, but leaving the port of Shenzhen Bay, the airport and the mega-bridge linking the territory to Macau and Zhuhai open.

For Lam, it is impossible to seal the borders between Hong Kong and China due to the work and transportation of goods (even essential foodstuffs for the area). An example: tens of thousands of people came from China two days ago. A cruise ship with 3600 people on board is stranded at the Kai Tak terminal after two passengers presented virus symptoms.

Fear is widespread among the people of Hong Kong, recalling that 17 years ago, the Sars epidemic, which broke out in China, hit Hong Kong hard, with 300 victims.

The diocese of Hong Kong today issued a press release specifying new pastoral indications for the celebration of masses and for community gatherings.

Due to the “increasingly critical” situation caused by the epidemic, all those who have been in China in areas affected by the virus are advised not to participate in church masses, but to follow the celebration in TV, “receiving spiritual communion ”, or spend time reading the bible, say the rosary, meditate upon the readings of the Mass.

These indications also apply to everyone, to reduce the number of faithful in gatherings and avoid opportunities for the virus to spread. Those who decide in any case to physically participate in the mass, are asked to wear masks, to take care of hygiene, to stay at a certain distance from each other in church, not to sing (except the hallelujah and the “Mystery of faith”, after the consecration). Those who are sick or weak are better off not participating in the celebration.

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