Oppose the mass detention of Tung Chung residents. 反對映灣園強制檢疫令
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This petition is an initiative from the residents of Caribbean Coast, Tower 11 in Tung Chung, who have been placed under mandatory quarantine for 21 days.
The global pandemic is affecting all of us and we fully support efforts by governments to keep citizens safe and healthy, such as vaccinations, frequent testing, social distancing and the promotion of personal hygiene.
However, after careful review of the latest scientific data and World Health Organisation recommendations we have concluded that the decision to deport 1027 residents to government camps or quarantine hotels and detain them in small rooms for 21 days is not based on sound evidence, poses a threat to the health and wellbeing of everyone involved (including infants, children, pregnant women, residents with underlying health conditions and elderly people) and involves wasteful spending of public funds.
Consequences for residents
As this decision by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) sets a dangerous precedent for all Hong Kong citizens, we urge you to support our suggestions outlined below. At present, the CHP can place any group of people under mandatory quarantine, based on one suspected case and large groups of people can be labelled as ‘contacts’ in an arbitrary way. This measure is disproportionate to the actual threat and causes physical and psychological harm to the innocent citizens involved. The residents of tower 11 have reported the following consequences so far:
- Loss of income
- Health problems
- Missing doctor’s appointments/medical procedures
- Missing scheduled vaccinations
- Separation of families
- Panic attacks/anxiety due to confinement
- Students missing exams
- Children being deprived of education
- Children being deprived of exercise and fresh air
- Children being deprived of social interaction
- Separation of pets/threat to animal welfare
- Intrusion on privacy by health officials
- Disruption of work by health officials
- Risk of cross contamination in quarantine hotels and government camps
- Risk of contamination during mass mandatory testing and deportation.
In addition, the decision by the CHP is leading to the disenfranchisement of the public from the vaccine initiative, as fully vaccinated residents are placed under the same 21 day quarantine.
We hereby urge Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong and Dr CHAN Hon-yee, Constance, JP, Director of Health at the Centre for Health Protection to:
exactly what constitutes a ‘close contact’ to an infected person, and how it differs from the term ‘contact’ as mentioned on the quarantine orders,
why Caribbean Coast staff members were not identified as contacts and therefore not evacuated,
the reason for making a distinction between living quarters and places that the infected person had visited,
why the crowds generated by the mass mandatory testing (overcrowded lifts, hour-long queues) and by the deportation in buses do not constitute a risk for contamination based on scientific evidence,
why medical staff on site were not identifiable and did not provide nursing credentials,
why plain-clothes coordination staff without PPE were allowed on site and were not considered ‘close contacts’,
why members of the public were allowed to walk next to the residents placed under quarantine/lockdown,
why a large number of residents were deported without formal quarantine order, which constitutes unlawful detention,
why residents who were aware of their legal rights and insisted on receiving a formal quarantine order were given a document with 20 May 2021 as the end date and were later told that the actual end date would be 21 May 2021.
2. Reconsider the blanket quarantine order for the entire tower 11, taking into account factors such as proximity within the tower block to the apartment of the infected persons, and other appropriate factors, based on sound scientific evidence, such that persons who are clearly not ‘close contacts’ by any objective analysis are freed from quarantine without delay. Where needed, alternatives, such as home-quarantine can be considered.
3. Provide a firm commitment to publishing a clear policy for quarantine exemption without delay, with reference to vaccination status.
4. Compensate those who have been quarantined for loss of salary/income, cancellation of medical procedures/doctor’s appointments, cancellation of vaccine appointments, the loss of pets or veterinary costs.
5. Provide the public with a detailed overview of the expenditures/costs of each quarantine operation and a list of the contracted companies involved in such operations.
6. Invite the World Health Organisation and/or the International Committee of the Red Cross to conduct an independent inquiry into the costs and benefits of the quarantine operation on Tower 11, including a detailed risk-assessment focusing on compliance with UN guidelines on protection from physical and psychological harm, Human Rights and Rights of the Child.
4. 補償因工資/收入損失、無法如期覆診/ 接受治療，無法按計劃接種新型冠狀病毒疫苗，丟失寵物或獸醫費用所帶來的損失。
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