Police looking for 36 people who violated self-quarantine orders

March 23, 2020 14:27
A passenger is made to wear an electronic wristband  upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport as a means to monitor their location amid the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Reuters

Police are looking for 36 people who have violated self-quarantine orders for those arriving in the city from overseas since March 19.

Five of those who left their homes without permission have been intercepted and sent to quarantine centers over the weekend, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Two of them were found to have removed or cut off the electronic wristbands they had been made to wear to monitor their movements.

More than 19,000 such wristbands have been issued to people undergoing self-quarantine, as of Sunday noon.

Following their interception, the five were investigated by the police and the Department of Health. The evidence collected would be sent to the Department of Justice, which in turn would consider their prosecution, a government spokesman said in a statement.

As for the 36 violators of self-quarantine orders, police have placed them on the wanted list and would continue to look for them, the statement said.

The government condemned their action, saying they increase the risk of community transmission of the coronavirus and endanger the health of others.

Under current regulations, contravention of a self-quarantine order is a criminal offense punishable with a fine of up to HK$25,000 and a prison term of up to six months.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told media on Saturday that authorities would adopt “zero tolerance” toward those violating compulsory quarantine orders.

Immediate prosecution will be taken against violators without any warning, Lam said.

In related news, a foreigner with an electronic wristband was found to have boarded a KMB route 269D bus on Sunday afternoon, prompting other passengers on the same bus to call the police.

Police later confirmed that the woman arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday morning, adding that authorities have been informed about the matter.

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