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Old Posted Mar 13, 2020, 9:35 AM
hkskyline's Avatar
hkskyline hkskyline is offline
Hong Kong
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,502
Hong Kong During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 arrived in Hong Kong on Jan 23, 2020 with the the first confirmed case from a mainland Chinese tourist who arrived by high-speed train.

Highly suspicious of reported numbers from the mainland, who withheld information in 2003 when SARS blew up, there was pressure from both sides of the political divide to shut the border entirely to protect the city. As cases increased in the coming days, and coupled with the Chinese New Year hutdown, rumours started flying of supply shortages. Crowds cleared supermarket shelves of rice and toilet paper.

While officials tried to quell the rumours and business leaders reassured abundant supplies, line-ups continued when stores tried to restock their shelves after the long holiday. A lot of mistrust against the government had built up from half a year of pro-democracy demonstrations, and residents could not rely on the highly-paid government officials to help secure vital supplies. Here, a line formed to buy toilet paper at this supermarket, a fairly common sight in the weeks following Chinese New Year.

Sanitizer and face masks hae also become hot commodities. Huge crowds lined up for hours to obtain the small quotas available as the shortage spread across the region There was considerable anger at the government for not imposing price restrictions to prevent gouging. Officials' promises that millions more masks were on their way and the government was actively souring them amidst the global shortage never materialized. Supplies started re-emerging in limited numbers by late February.

Amidst the shortage, some mischevious sellers were recycling used masks by ironing them to make them look new. Others ventured further to Korea and Japan to find stock. At the time, they still didn't experience mass outbreaks.

With schools closed, people working from home, and malls thinned out, people headed to the countryside to relax. Hiking trails became crowded on the weekend.

Back in the city, Soho has been hard hit with many restaurants and bars closing. Rents are still too high while business has collapsed. This is quite evident along the escalator ride up from Central, as well as the epicentre of the bar district along Staunton, Elgin, and Old Bailey Streets.

More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-covid19.htm
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