World

Two days of total lockdown in a crowded Hong Kong neighborhood

Hong Kong on Monday lifted an unprecedented two-day lockdown on an area in Kowloon’s Yau Ma Tei and Jordan, which restricted some 10,000 people to less than half a square mile over the weekend because of a surge of new coronavirus cases.

The crowded neighborhood is home to members of ethnic minority groups, many of whom live in cramped, subdivided apartments. To implement the lockdown, thousands of governments officials descended on the area, starting early Saturday to test more than 7,000 residents in two days.

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Police officers move a gate on a street after locking down part of the Jordan district.

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Seventeen cases have been found so far, authorities said Monday. Infected individuals and their close contacts have been transferred to hospitals and quarantine centers.

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The lockdown was the first of its kind in Hong Kong, which has recorded just over 10,000 covid-19 cases overall. So far, authorities have not resorted to the more aggressive measures used in Chinese cities such as Wuhan, the initial epicenter. As restrictions were lifted Monday, earlier than expected, Hong Kong officials said the measures were a success.

“If there is such a need, obviously we do not rule out the possibility of any future operation like this,” Sophia Chan, the city’s food and health secretary, told reporters Sunday.

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Government workers organize lines of residents for coronavirus tests.

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

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Each resident is given a wristband after the test.

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

A resident looks down from a window in the locked-down part of the Jordan district.

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

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A man attempts to reroll toilet paper on a rooftop.

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

A man speaks on a phone on a rooftop in the locked-down part of the Jordan district.

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images