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Hong Kong officials test positive for Covid, casting doubt over Xi’s potential visit

Hong Kong

Two high Hong Kong officers have examined optimistic for Covid-19, doubtlessly derailing any likelihood of an official go to from Chinese language chief Xi Jinping subsequent week to mark the twenty fifth anniversary of the town’s handover to China.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and director of the Chief Govt’s Workplace Eric Chan each examined optimistic via nucleic acid assessments and are present process isolation, a Hong Kong authorities assertion mentioned on Thursday.

Their infections raised issues over a possible go to by state leaders for the town’s July 1 celebrations, which embody the swearing in of Hong Kong’s new chief and the anniversary of its 1997 handover from British rule.

It additionally casts doubt on the robustness of the town’s “closed-loop” association, which requires officers to keep away from public engagements and enter quarantine forward of the deliberate ceremonies.

As China sticks to a byzantine strategy of snap lockdowns, mass testing and quarantining to keep up its zero-Covid coverage, Chinese language officers look like taking additional precautions to not catch the virus.

Xi has not left mainland China for the reason that outbreak of the pandemic greater than two years in the past. And though whether or not he’ll attend the handover ceremony stays a tightly guarded secret, the Hong Kong authorities has began to arrange for the arrival of a delegation of state leaders from throughout the nonetheless largely sealed border with the mainland.

High Hong Kong officers entered the closed loop system on Thursday, below which they will solely journey between house and work by non-public car and should spend an evening in a quarantine resort on the eve of the handover anniversary. They’re additionally topic to every day testing for Covid-19.

“Mr Tsang and Mr Chan final went to work on June 22 and June 20 respectively. They wore masks and adopted related illness prevention measures at work, together with speedy antigen assessments carried out every day with damaging outcomes obtained. They don’t have any current journey historical past,” the federal government assertion mentioned.

The assertion made no point out of the 2 officers’ signs.

Chan is about to turn into the town’s No. 2 official on July 1, as incoming Hong Kong chief John Lee takes the helm.

Regardless of excessive vaccination charges and a discount in general instances, the Hong Kong authorities stays dedicated to its personal “zero Covid” model coverage, sustaining stringent social distancing and get in touch with tracing measures, in addition to tight border restrictions – together with a compulsory seven day resort quarantine for all arrivals.

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