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Hong Kong port suffers outbreak of Covid-19 and may have to temporarily close down

Nearly 70 people in Hong Kong port have been infected with Covid-19 in the last 10 days. The port has already become the third largest epicenter of Covid-19 in Hong Kong. There are 55 cases in Kwai Tsing container terminal alone. The main problem is the shared break room. Sharing the break room speeds up transmission of Covid-19. Family members of workers have already been diagnosed with the disease, which confirms secondary transmission.

Relevant authorities have not yet given a statement regarding the situation in Hong Kong port. Viral experts point out that the disease was most likely spread by sailors skipping quarantine or by frozen meat products. The spread of Covid-19 may also be related to the living conditions of port personnel.

Investigations are still ongoing. It is still unclear how many people have been infected. Teams are still gathering additional data. However, the port plays an important role in the lives of the people in Hong Kong as much of the supplies and fresh produce is imported. Hong Kong port is also the main entry point for products destined for South China.

Zhang Zhujun, director of the Bureau for Infectious Disease at the Hong Kong Center for Health Protection, stated that closing down the port is "a major decision". Although closing down the port may help to stop this outbreak of Covid-19, this would also have a significant impact on Hong Kong distribution. The Hong Kong government is in discussion with port companies to help limit the interaction between port workers.

Kwai Chung dock is the eighth largest container terminal in the world. This is the logistical heart of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. Kwai Chung dock processed more than 14.22 million containers in 2019. That is nearly 80% of all the containers that passed through Hong Kong port in that year.


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