More Hong Kong politicians sent to quarantine after birthday party | Inquirer News
Close  

More Hong Kong politicians sent to quarantine after birthday party

/ 02:35 PM January 07, 2022
More Hong Kong politicians sent to quarantine after birthday party

FILE PHOTO: A long exposure shows a general view of Victoria Harbor and the skyline on Hong Kong island on December 1, 2016. AFP PHOTO/Anthony WALLACE

HONG KONG Four Hong Kong lawmakers and its immigration czar joined another top official at a quarantine camp as a coronavirus scare widened Friday, ensnaring the territory’s political elite after they attended a large birthday party.

The latest five entries into Hong Kong’s 21-day quarantine facilities have left city authorities red-faced as they install a new “patriots only” legislature, which is scheduled to hold its first meeting next Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

They are joining Home Affairs Secretary Caspar Tsui, who was sent to the camp Thursday after being deemed a close contact with a potential carrier.

By Friday, he was joined by four other lawmakers and immigration chief Au Ka-wang — all of whom had attended a birthday party Monday at a Spanish tapas restaurant.

FEATURED STORIES

“I offer my sincere apology to all people of Hong Kong. I have reflected on this incident and shall be more vigilant in future,” Au said in a statement Friday.

He added he was at the restaurant for a short time and “left immediately after congratulating my friend without having a meal sitting down.”

Officials separately confirmed the lawmakers sent to the quarantine facility will miss the start of the legislative term.

“I feel I acted carelessly and I rather regret it,” affected lawmaker Duncan Chiu told local radio Friday morning. “This has set a bad example.”

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said she was “very disappointed” in the large gathering of officials for Monday’s party.

It was held to celebrate the birthday of Witman Hung, a member of China’s top lawmaking body, according to local media.

While the party was legal under rules at the time, health officials had advised people three days earlier to avoid big gatherings.

ADVERTISEMENT

The government upped coronavirus restrictions this week, after a small outbreak of the Omicron variant in the city was traced to a Cathay Pacific flight crew.

Multiple local outlets ran a photo showing Hung singing into a microphone with his arm around the shoulder of a smiling woman, both unmasked.

Hung, who apologized late Thursday, had also been sent to quarantine, local media said.

The party was also attended by nine senior government officials including the city’s police chief and anti-corruption agency head but they were not ordered to quarantine as they had left the venue before the suspected COVID-19 carrier arrived.

President of the Legislative Council Andrew Leung said he hoped next week’s meeting can continue as planned.

A new group of 90 city lawmakers was selected last month under new rules imposed by Beijing, which vetted all candidates for “patriotism.”

Only 20 were directly elected amid record low turnout, with the rest selected by reliably pro-Beijing committees.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: birthday party, China, COVID-19, Hong Kong, political elite, Quarantine
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.