The Hong Kong government announced that all arrivals from mainland China, regardless of nationality, will have to be quarantined for 14 days.
According to Hong Kong Free Press, the move will kick in from Saturday, Feb. 8.
Thousands of medical workers on strike
This move follows days of labour strikes by thousands of medical professionals to pressure the government to completely close the border with mainland China to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Today is the third day of the 5-days long labour strike of medical workers to call for closure of border with mainland China. Winnie Yu, chairwoman of the HA employee alliance come to the govt HQ this morning to demand for an open dialogue with Carrie Lam. #WuhanCoronavius pic.twitter.com/1PLux7IFnV— Jessie Pang (@JessiePang0125) February 5, 2020
Hosptial staff have started their first day of strike to pressure the government into closing the border with the mainland amid the Wuhan virus outbreak. At Queen Mary Hospital, a group of non-essential staff going on strike urge more colleagues to support their cause. pic.twitter.com/Xtsvt2JtqQ— Jimmy Choi (@jimcyf) February 3, 2020
Lunchtime protests now have a new focus: urging the Hong Kong govt to close the border with mainland China https://t.co/bSpTv3qUM8— Mary Hui (@maryhui) February 3, 2020
A patient care assistant told Time the strike was necessary to protect Hong Kong, even at the cost of rescheduled operations and delayed care.
A doctor also said should the border be closed, infections could be stopped at "their source", as the suspected cases in Hong Kong were "mainly coming from the mainland".
A physical therapist further said the city's hospitals were facing a shortage of resources, such as diagnostic tests and beds, making it hard to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.
Not all land crossings closed
While Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Monday, Feb. 3, that some border crossings would be closed, several land crossings, such as the international airport, the Kai Tak cruise terminal, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Brdige, and the Shenzhen Bay Port, still remain open, South China Morning Post reported.
However, the land crossings that were closed, such as the ones at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau, as well as the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal, account for about 60 percent of cross border passenger traffic in the year 2018.
Hong Kong recorded first death
There are 18 confirmed coronavirus cases in Hong Kong so far.
The city reported its first death from the virus on Tuesday, Feb. 4 -- the second death recorded outside of mainland China.
The victim was a Hong Kong citizen who had recently visited Wuhan -- the epicentre of the outbreak.