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Hong Kong officers take a look at optimistic for Covid, casting doubt over Xi’s potential go to

Hong Kong CNN  — 

Two high Hong Kong officers have examined optimistic for Covid-19, probably derailing any probability of an official go to from Chinese language chief Xi Jinping subsequent week to mark the 25th anniversary of the town’s handover to China.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and director of the Chief Govt’s Workplace Eric Chan each examined optimistic via nucleic acid exams and are present process isolation, a Hong Kong authorities assertion stated on Thursday.

Their infections raised considerations over a possible go to by state leaders for the town’s July 1 celebrations, which embrace the swearing in of Hong Kong’s new chief and the anniversary of its 1997 handover from British rule.

It additionally casts doubt on the robustness of the town’s “closed-loop” association, which requires officers to keep away from public engagements and enter quarantine forward of the deliberate ceremonies.

As China sticks to a byzantine strategy of snap lockdowns, mass testing and quarantining to keep up its zero-Covid coverage, Chinese language officers seem like taking further precautions to not catch the virus.

Xi has not left mainland China because the outbreak of the pandemic greater than two years in the past. And though whether or not he’ll attend the handover ceremony stays a tightly guarded secret, the Hong Kong authorities has began to arrange for the arrival of a delegation of state leaders from throughout the nonetheless largely sealed border with the mainland.

Prime Hong Kong officers entered the closed loop system on Thursday, underneath which they will solely journey between residence and work by personal automobile and should spend an evening in a quarantine resort on the eve of the handover anniversary. They’re additionally topic to every day testing for Covid-19.

“Mr Tsang and Mr Chan final went to work on June 22 and June 20 respectively. They wore masks and adopted related illness prevention measures at work, together with fast antigen exams performed every day with adverse outcomes obtained. They haven’t any latest journey historical past,” the federal government assertion stated.

The assertion made no point out of the 2 officers’ signs.

Chan is ready to grow to be the town’s No. 2 official on July 1, as incoming Hong Kong chief John Lee takes the helm.

Regardless of excessive vaccination charges and a discount in total circumstances, the Hong Kong authorities stays dedicated to its personal “zero Covid” model coverage, sustaining stringent social distancing and make contact with tracing measures, in addition to tight border restrictions – together with a compulsory seven day resort quarantine for all arrivals.

Extra reporting by CNN’s Martin Goillandeau and Hannah Ritchie.

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