Environment & Health Hong Kong

Coronavirus: Hong Kong gov’t publishes list of buildings detailing self-quarantine occupants following online leak

A list of buildings with occupants under 14-day self-quarantine was published on Friday evening by the government, a day after a similar list was leaked.

A 193-page document, which circulated online on Thursday, detailed locations where residents who had travelled to the mainland had been ordered to remain at home.

According to the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation, any person who arrives from China – or has visited the mainland within the past two weeks – will be quarantined for two weeks in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

CHP coronavirus press con

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan and Dr Sara Ho at Centre for Health Protection press conference on Covid-19 daily updates. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Dozens of district councillors posted links to the file, accusing the authorities of lacking transparency in failing to release coronavirus-related information.

The Department of Health did not comment when approached by HKFP about the list’s authenticity: “The Department is consolidating a list of buildings involved which will be published on the website,” it said in a written response on Friday. However, a 198-page list, with similar content, was uploaded hours later to the department’s official website following their daily press conference.

First detected in Hubei, China, the SARS-like Covid-19 has infected more than 83,000 people and led to over 2,800 deaths globally. There were 94 confirmed cases and two deaths in Hong Kong as of Friday.

Yuen Long hot zone

Yuen Long District Councillor Wilber Lee expressed concern about the list on Facebook on Thursday: “Most residences are located in populated areas such as Yuen Long town centre and Tin Shui Wai. Cases are sporadic in rural areas, with higher densities in San Tin which may be owing to its proximity to a border checkpoint.”

Lee also posted a map  – created with Hong Kong Address Parser – showing a cluster of 562 Yuen Long buildings which were featured on the list.

map coronavirus quarantine

A map visualising Yuen Long containees’ residences based on data on the leaked list. Photo: Wilber Lee’s Facebook page.

According to Stand News, the list was suspected to have been leaked from Tuen Mun District Office following an enquiry made by District Councillor Ho Hang-mui. Home Affairs Department replied HKFP’s enquiry that the staff only provided Ho information that was already available on the Centre’s website.

Coronavirus: Hong Kong gov't publishes list of buildings detailing self-quarantine occupants following online leak