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Dozens of Hong Kong officers are despatched into quarantine after a party.

At the least 20 Hong Kong lawmakers, town’s police chief and several other different senior officers are being despatched to centralized quarantine after attending a party on Monday, in an embarrassing political and public well being headache for town’s already deeply unpopular authorities.

In all, round 170 folks — all of the visitors on the celebration, in addition to their shut contacts — are to be despatched to a centralized quarantine facility, metropolis officers introduced on Friday, after two individuals who attended examined constructive for Covid. Already, round 60 folks have been despatched to Penny’s Bay, a facility of shipping-container-like dormitories on an outlying island.

The revelation got here as Hong Kong, which had gone months with none native transmission, prepares for a brand new outbreak linked to the Omicron variant. And it adopted vigorous calls from the federal government — which has imposed a few of the harshest quarantine and social distancing measures on this planet — for residents to keep away from public gatherings.

The celebration, at a Spanish tapas restaurant, was for Witman Hung, an area delegate to the Chinese language nationwide legislature, and its visitor checklist was a who’s who of town’s political elite. Attendees included Caspar Tsui, town’s house affairs secretary; Raymond Siu, the police commissioner; Au Ka-wang, the immigration director; and 20 lawmakers, who had been simply sworn in for a brand new time period this week.

At the least a type of lawmakers, Junius Ho, additionally traveled to Shenzhen two days after the celebration to fulfill with a high Chinese language authorities official.

At a information convention on Thursday after information of the celebration emerged, Carrie Lam, town’s chief, stated she was “very disillusioned” within the authorities officers. A number of of them have additionally issued apologies.

“I’ve mirrored on this incident and shall be extra vigilant in future,” Mr. Au, the immigration director, stated in an announcement on Friday. (Earlier, Mrs. Lam had declined to reply questions on whether or not Mr. Au used a contact tracing app to test in on the celebration, as required by legislation; his assertion didn’t tackle that difficulty.)

Mr. Au had already been fined last year for breaching social distancing guidelines at a hot-pot dinner in March.

Earlier on Friday, officials had said solely a handful of the lawmakers and officers could be despatched to quarantine, because the others had proven that they left earlier than an contaminated visitor arrived round 9:30 p.m. However later within the day, the well being authorities stated a second visitor, who had been current from 6 to eight p.m., had additionally examined constructive — main each partygoer to be quarantined.

The scandal was prone to dent the already-low public belief within the authorities, which has been battered by widespread pro-democracy protests in 2019, adopted by a sweeping political crackdown within the years since. A poll last month confirmed that solely 25 % of Hong Kongers surveyed permitted of the federal government’s efficiency.

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