Coronavirus: what kind of lockdown can Hong Kong handle … or is it even ready at all?

Government pandemic adviser Professor David Hui Shu-cheong suggested that catering workers should be allowed to operate to let residents order takeaways. He also suggested that security guards at residential properties should work with police to ensure people complied with a lockdown.

There were an estimated 237,000 people working in hospitality and catering, and 166,800 in the transport industry according to official statistics at the end of 2020.

About 400,000 people worked as security guards, cleaners, and repair workers at public and private properties, according to Johnnie Chan Chi-kau, former president and now spokesman for the Hong Kong Association of Property Management Companies.

“If their work has to be suspended during the testing period, the city’s hygiene and discipline problems will get worse,” he said. “Authorities also have to think about infection risks if large numbers of patients remain in high-rise buildings, when quarantine facilities are not sufficient.”

According to employment figures provided by the Census and Statistics Department, the trading and logistics sectors employed the most people – at 616,200 in 2020 among four key industries – while financial services accounted for 273,700.

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