At least 200 health workers rallied outside of Hong Kong’s central government offices on Wednesday to demand the full closure of the territory’s border to mainland China as their strike entered its third day.
On Monday, authorities in Hong Kong announced the closure of four more border crossings with mainland China, leaving open the international airport, the bridge connecting the city to Macau and the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai as well as Shenzhen Bay Port in the north. Nevertheless, striking health workers demand the closure of the remaining borders, as well as better protection for frontline medical workers treating actual coronavirus cases.
The strike also comes in the wake of the territory’s first recorded fatality from the newly identified virus, a 39-year-old man who suffered from an underlying illness and had visited China’s Wuhan city – the epicenter of the outbreak – in January.
Hong Kong has confirmed 18 cases, including at least four that were transmitted locally, authorities said. The latest coronavirus epidemic has rekindled memories in Hong Kong of the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another coronavirus that emerged from mainland China and killed nearly 300 people in the city.