In an effort to control the spread of the new virus ‘Coronavirus’, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam has ordered on Tuesday that the city would sharply cut the number of visitors from mainland China.
The deadly virus emerged in the city of Wuhan sometime last month, infecting more than 4,500 people and killed 106, all of them in China. Hong Kong has eight confirmed cases of the coronavirus, all of which came from mainland China.
The limits, including the closure of rail and ferry service and reducing flight arrivals by about half, will begin at midnight Thursday. They follow days of increasing pressure from health care workers, epidemiologists and even pro-Beijing politicians who have traditionally supported Mrs. Lam’s government.
Hong Kong will close several of its border crossing points and increase checkpoints to detect fevers at those that remain, Mrs. Lam said. China will also stop issuing visas for individual travelers from the mainland, which makes up about half of the visitors to Hong Kong, she added.
Hong Kong is one of Asia’s biggest transportation and financial centers. The cuts to mainland visitors represent a drastic escalation of concerns over the risks posed by the coronavirus.