Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said Tuesday that Hong Kong considers imposing further restrictions on inbound travelers amid the spreading COVID-19 worldwide.
At a press briefing before a weekly meeting of the Executive Council, Lam said the focus of Hong Kong's anti-epidemic fight has shifted to preventing the spread from other countries.
The government will assess risks of travelers from various countries, taking into account factors including total confirmed cases there and local efforts to control the virus, Lam said, adding that more restrictive measures are in the pipeline.
The World Health Organization said a total of 105 countries and regions have reported confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infections. In response to the situation, Hong Kong has put in place restrictions for travelers from South Korea, Italy and Iran, such as compulsory quarantines, and advised against its residents to travel abroad if not necessary.
Hong Kong has been stepping up efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Its virus monitoring scheme has been expanded from public hospitals to all private medical institutions, under which 28,000 residents have taken virus tests and 40 patients have been found.
As of Monday evening, 115 confirmed cases and one suspected case had been reported in Hong Kong.
In terms of Hong Kong residents in Hubei Province, Lam said the government will strive to arrange more chartered flights to take them home at an early date. More than 400 returned to Hong Kong from Hubei by flights arranged by the HKSAR government last week, who are still undergoing 14-day quarantines.
Besides, over 200 people brought back from a cruise ship quarantined in Japan have completed their quarantines, with nine confirmed cases and one dubbed as suspected.