The Hong Kong government shuts most remaining passenger border crossings. Of the 14 control points, this leaves only one overland link with Shenzhen, namely Shenzhen Bay. The other main one is the airport. The other two are the little-used Zhuhai Bridge and the usually empty Cruise Terminal.
While this doesn’t hermetically seal the city off from the Mainland, it does funnel travellers through a couple of points where they can be (we assume) subjected to thorough inspection. Shutting down the huge crossings at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau is a major step.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam stoutly denies that the U-turn has anything to do with naughty hospital workers pointing a gun at her head, and further insists that she has Hong Kong’s interests at heart. Sure.
Question: What has had a massive impact on Hong Kong recently but, being 0.1-0.2 microns in size, can be viewed only with an electron microscope? Correct – the government’s credibility.
(Is it just me, or is the official announcement (top link) noticeably lacking in the usual whiny, shrill and defensive finger-pointing? Almost as if someone is learning to be grown up and swallow their pride. Or maybe the regular scribe is off sick.)
Possibly jumping the gun – but the impression I’m getting is that WuFlu is more flu than Black Death, and the immediate health scare is going to start subsiding before long. In which case, our battered and bruised local leadership must go back to all that unfinished business. Former Governor Chris Patten offers some pointed reminders of the messes that need to be sorted out (video, more quotes and pithy responses here). (Update: whoops.)
Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the delightfully empty streets while they last. For those employed in traditional local sweatshops, work continues much as normal, maybe with a free bag of face masks thrown in. But lots of people at reputable, serious-sounding international companies are ‘working from home’, and expect to do so for at least another week or more. Which makes me wonder: why do these firms rent huge expensive offices, if their staff can get so much done by email and conference call (and these companies do seem to be conducting business as usual) on their sofas in their apartments?
A gem buried in the government statement: “The spokesman said that, from a public health point of view, the spread of the virus occurs regardless of race, nationality and residency status.” Unlike just about anything else the government does…
Will the HK Government-paid-for-Medical Council take disciplinary proceedings against doctors on strike?
“It is admirable that the Chinese government has shown its solid political resolve and taken timely and effective measures in dealing with the epidemic” – WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
“President Xi’s personal guidance and deployment show his great leadership capability” – Tedros
“China’s measures are not only protecting its people, but also protecting the people in the whole world” – Tedros
“[the high speed and massive scale of China’s moves] showed China’s efficiency and the advantages of China’s system” – Tedros
“The experience of China is worth learning for other countries, the measures China has taken will effectively control and finally prevail over the epidemic” – Tedros
“The WHO firmly supports China’s measures against the epidemic and stands ready to enhance cooperation with China and provide all necessary assistance” – Tedros
“the WHO will make assessment based on science and facts, and opposes overreaction and groundless accusations” – Tedros
“The WHO speaks highly of China’s major role in and great contribution to the cause of global public health, and is ready to further conduct strategic cooperation with China” – Tedros
“I have never seen for myself this kind of mobilization. China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response” – Tedros
Given the above recent quotes and the reluctance of the WHO to declare a global epidemic, does anyone get the feeling that Tedros is on the CCP payroll?
@Big Al: Either that or Winnie the Shitjinping has some serious pee tapes on Tedros from whenever it last was he had “business” in China…
“The Hong Kong government shuts most remaining passenger border crossings. Of the 14 control points, this leaves only one overland link with Shenzhen, namely Shenzhen Bay. The other main one is the airport. The other two are the little-used Zhuhai Bridge and the usually empty Cruise Terminal.”
Little-used? According to recent stats, traffice on that bridge has picked up. And it probably will even more now that China Travel Service (CTS) has announced that there will be more frequent cross-border coaches running at 15 to 30 min intervals to Hong Kong from today.
@Big Al – Tedros’s quotes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,8 and 9 rather undermine quote 7, don’t they?
@Private Beach what do you expect from a corrupt toadie like Tedros who appointed Robert Mugabe as “goodwill ambassador”
I think quote 7 was written by his CCP handlers – “… opposes overreaction and groundless accusations” sounds very familiar. All we’re missing is “hurting the feelings of the Chinese people”.
CCP maneuvering to install it’s own or pliable toadies in WHO/UN/NBA etc to ensure the actions and communication from these institutions are on message and show China in the ‘correct’ light – even if this undermines the credibility of the institution and leads to loss of life.
Expect more of this in the future
There is a petition on Change.org to remove Tedros as the head of the WHO, interesting comments there as well.
@Ping Che, interestingly there was a previous attempt in 2017 to drum up support for the removal of Tedros largely, it would seem, due to his nomination of Robert Mugabe as UN Ambassador of Goodwill. And the fact that he’s corrupt AF, allegedly.
@Big Al, Tedros is an anagram of Sorted. And Red Sot.
“China’s been the root cause of public health catastrophes for over 5,000 years!”
More tear gas tonight. Surely at a time that the community is battling an epidemic that attacks the respiratory system this substance should be banned.
“The main effect of “Riot Control Agents” is irritation of mucosal surfaces.
“Respiratory symptoms related to CS are nasal irritation, rhinorrhea, cough, and breathlessness.” Sound familiar?
Many of those exposed to random blasting are pedestrians or nearby residents who most certainly will have reduced resistance to the dreaded WuFlu going forward.