Hong Kong’s Secretary for Home Affairs, Casper Tsui, is being sent to the government quarantine center, Penny's Bay, after being identified as a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case at a birthday party held for a local official Monday.
Eight other senior government officials, including Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Hui Ching-Yu and the head of Hong Kong’s Police Force, Raymond Siu, were also present at the party but left before 9:30 p.m., when the positive case reportedly arrived.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said during a press conference Thursday that she was disappointed in those city officials, especially Tsui, and announced that there will be an investigation as to whether any pandemic prevention rules were broken at the party.
Officials who left before the confirmed case arrived will have to provide proof they left the premises in time by providing electronic records of their movements.
Hong Kong's battle against Covid: Hong Kong reported its first Omicron coronavirus infection last week, following nearly three months without any local cases.
Along with mainland China, it is one of the few places in the world still pursuing a zero-Covid policy. That means most non-residents are banned from entering, while almost all overseas arrivals must undergo 21 days of quarantine -- even if they are fully vaccinated.
Local restrictions have also been implemented, with indoor dining banned and entertainment venues such as cinemas, museums and bars and clubs temporarily shutting their doors. Read more:
Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Tsui was sent to quarantine after attending a birthday party.