Hong Kong: Candidate to Succeed Carrie Lam Says She Can’t Force Residents to Take COVID Tests

HONG KONG — The candidate who appears set to succeed Carrie Lam as the next chief executive of Hong Kong said on Thursday that she does not have the legal power to force residents to take COVID-19 tests, even as the city reported more than 10,000 daily infections for the first time..

John Lee, the sole candidate in the race, made the comments during a question-and-answer session with reporters, in which he sought to tamp down expectations that he would adopt more aggressive anti-pandemic measures if he is elected on Sunday..

“Hong Kong people are very concerned about this issue, and I think it is reasonable to be concerned,” Lee said, referring to the recent surge in infections. “But I want to make it very clear that under the law, the government does not have the power to force someone to take a test or receive a vaccine.”.

Lee’s comments came as Hong Kong grapples with its worst COVID-19 outbreak since the pandemic began. The city reported 10,123 new infections on Thursday, the highest daily tally since the pandemic began. The number of new cases has been rising steadily in recent weeks, and the city is now reporting more than 1,000 new infections per day..

The surge in cases has put a strain on Hong Kong’s healthcare system, and there are concerns that the city’s hospitals could be overwhelmed if the number of new infections continues to rise. The government has already implemented a number of measures to try to contain the outbreak, including social distancing measures and a mask mandate. However, the government has so far resisted calls to implement a lockdown..

Lee’s comments suggest that he is unlikely to adopt more aggressive anti-pandemic measures if he is elected. This could be seen as a disappointment to some residents, who are concerned about the rising number of infections. However, Lee’s comments are also likely to be welcomed by some residents, who are concerned about the potential impact of a lockdown on the city’s economy..

The election for Hong Kong’s next chief executive will be held on Sunday. Lee is the sole candidate in the race, and he is widely expected to win. If he is elected, he will become the city’s fourth chief executive since the handover from British rule in 1997..

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