The Hong Kong government on Tuesday announced that all government employees are not required to return to their offices and can work from home from Wednesday as part of measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The measure will be in effect until next Monday, Feb. 2, a government spokesman said in a press release. The government will review the situation before then.
Staff of departments providing emergency services and essential public services are not covered by the new measure.
The spokesman appealed to the private sector to make similar arrangements as far as practicable.
On Saturday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor raised the response level to the novel coronavirus infection to emergency, the highest level.
The government has also banned people from central China’s Hubei province, including the capital Wuhan where the virus outbreak was first detected, from entering Hong Kong. The policy does not cover Hong Kong residents.
Two new imported cases of novel coronavirus infection in Hong Kong have been confirmed, bringing the total to eight so far, the Centre for Health Protection announced on Monday.
One of the cases involves a 68-year-old woman who lives in Shenzhen. She had developed a fever and cough since Jan. 21. She was intercepted by Port Health Division staff at the Lo Wu Control Point on Jan. 25 while travelling from Shenzhen to Hong Kong.
She was taken to North District Hospital for isolation and treatment. She is now in a stable condition.
According to the patient, she had visited a relative in Wuhan during the incubation period but had neither any exposure to wild animals nor visited any wet markets there.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the woman came to Hong Kong alone and her husband lives in Shenzhen. She does not have any home contacts in Hong Kong.
The other case involves a 64-year-old man who lives in Wuhan. He is the husband of the third imported case of novel coronavirus infection in Hong Kong.
As a close contact of a patient, he was already sent to Lady MacLehose Holiday Village for quarantine on Jan. 24. He developed a fever on the evening of Jan. 25 and was transferred to Tuen Mun Hospital for isolation and treatment. He is now in a stable condition.
The man had travelled from Wuhan to Shenzhenbei, then on to Hong Kong by high-speed rail on Jan. 19.
Preliminary investigations revealed that he and his wife came to Hong Kong to visit their daughter and son-in-law at South Hillcrest in Tuen Mun.
Their daughter and son-in-law are asymptomatic and are now quarantined at Lady MacLehose Holiday Village.
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