Editor’s note: Citizens questioned the government’s forceful choice of the location of the isolated camp in the populated Fanling, rather than distant sites like Shek Kong Camp. The latter could be a much wiser choice for an isolation camp in terms of its location and size (152 hectares vis-a-vis 0.82 hectares in Fai Ming Estate, Fanling).
Without prior consultation, the government announced on January 25 that a public housing estate Fai Ming Estate in Fanling would be transformed into a temporary residence for medical staff handling coronavirus cases or an isolation camp for people with close contact with patients of the Wuhan pneumonia.
This provoked outrage among nearby residents, as the site is very close to secondary schools and residential buildings. In fear of a community outbreak, immediately after the announcement made by the government, the residents launched a petition.
About 14000 signatures had been collected by 17:45. Some district councillors questioned the government regarding the choice of the location. On January 26, many residents gathered around the estate and used bricks and water-filled barriers to set up roadblocks. Some residents demanded the government to remove all materials for the reconstruction in Fai Ming Estate at once.
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) staff arrived to appease the crowds by promising to remove the construction material later. Nonetheless, the gathering residents pointed to the urgency of the issue and the hypocrisy of the government, and hence persisted with their demands.
Source: Stand News