• wethepeopleofhk

Hong Kong's COVID-19 'lockdowns' exposes inequality

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Today this is the truth of Communist Hong Kong (HK)!

HK is a Han Chinese feudal plutocracy: HK is NOT a democracy!

HK has one of the biggest gaps between rich and poor in the world: for the last 10 years the SAR has had the most expensive and unaffordable housing in the world while 1/5 HK people live in poverty! This is to say NOTHING about the tiny, unlivable spaces HK citizens are expected to call home.

The totalitarian nationalist Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has breached the Joint Declaration on 1 July 2020 with its illegal national security law, making life in the city that much tougher. CCP has illegally annexed HK.

Hong Kong’s notorious tenement apartments are potential hotbeds of transmission, with their cramped quarters, faulty piping and poor ventilation!

All of these problems have been caused because HK is not a democracy.

It is now clearer than ever that the illigitimate HK government is being directed by CCP.

Over many years the HK government has shirked its responsibility under ICESCR to the people of HK to ensure we have our ICCPR 'supreme human right' - the 'right to life'.

These COVID-19 'lockdowns' amount to discrimination and 'arbitrary' confinement, and under UNCAT amount to 'torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment'. (See further references below to updates on lockdowns).

HK protesters demand that the CCP and HK government upholds the Joint Declaration.

HK needs international support for HK democracy!

CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:

In ‘Coffin Homes’ and ‘Cages,’ Hong Kong Lockdown Exposes Inequality

NYTimes 26 January 2021 by Vivian Wang and Tiffany Ma. Photos Lam Yik Fei.

HONG KONG — When Shirley Leung, 60, woke up enclosed in Hong Kong’s first coronavirus lockdown, she surveyed the tiny room she shares with her adult son, which fits a single bed and cardboard boxes and plastic tubs for storing clothes.

She tried to ignore the smell of the ceiling and walls, which were blanketed with mold. She rationed out the fresh vegetables she had at home, dissatisfied with the canned foods and instant noodles the government had provided when it imposed the restrictions on Saturday.

She considered the cramped, interconnected nature of her apartment building.

“If one room is infected, then how is it possible for cases not to spread among subdivided flats?” Ms. Leung said in a telephone interview. “How can it be safe?”

Hong Kong has long been one of the most unequal places on Earth, a city where sleek luxury malls sit shoulder-to-shoulder with overcrowded tenements where the bathroom sometimes doubles as the kitchen. In normal times, that inequality is often concealed by the city’s glittery surface. But during the coronavirus pandemic, its cost has become unmistakable.

More than 160 confirmed cases were found in the neighborhood of Jordan from Jan. 1 to the end of last week, out of about 1,100 citywide. The government responded by locking down 10,000 residents in a 16-block area. More than 3,000 workers, many in hazmat suits, descended on the area to conduct mass testing.

Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said on Tuesday that the lockdown had been a success and added that more could be forthcoming; officials announced one in nearby Yau Ma Tei soon after.

Officials suggested that the dilapidated living conditions of many residents in Jordan had fueled the virus’s spread. A densely packed neighborhood known for a lively night market, aging high-rise apartments and plentiful eateries, Jordan is home to some of the city’s highest concentrations of tenements, the subdivided flats that are created when apartments are parceled out into two or more smaller ones.

More than 200,000 of the city’s poorest residents live in such units, where the average living space per person is 48 square feet — less than one-third the size of a New York City parking space. Some spaces are so tiny and restrictive that they are called cages or coffin homes.

The same conditions that may have led to the outbreak also made the lockdown particularly painful for many residents, who worried about missing even a day of work or feared being trapped in poorly ventilated hotbeds of transmission. Officials admitted that they did not know exactly how many people lived in the subdivided apartments, complicating efforts to test everyone. Discrimination against low-income South Asian residents, many of whom are concentrated in the area, also caused problems.

Some have blamed the government for allowing the conditions for an outbreak to fester and then imposing heavy-handed measures on a group that can least afford to bear them.

Wealthy Hong Kongers have caused outbreaks of their own or flouted social-distancing rules, without similar consequences.

“If they did anything wrong, it is to be poor, to live in a subdivided flat, or to have a different skin color,” said Andy Yu, an elected official in the lockdown area.

Since the pandemic started, the subdivided apartments have been a source of concern.

Ms. Leung, the retiree, and her son have just one bed, which she sleeps in at night and her son sleeps in during the day, after returning from overnight shifts as a construction worker. A roof beam was showing cracks, but the landlord had put off fixing it,she said. The mold has also been a consistent problem, because of dirty water dripping from a neighboring unit.

The plumbing in subdivided flats is often reconfigured to allow for more bathrooms or kitchens, but the installation is frequently faulty. During the SARS outbreak in 2002-03, more than 300 people in one housing estate were infected, and 42 died, after the virus spread through defective plumbing.

The government promised reforms after SARS but has acknowledged that the situation remains perilous.

“Many of the buildings in the restricted area are older and in disrepair,” Sophia Chan, the secretary for food and health, said on Saturday. “The risk of community infection is very high.”

The lockdown ultimately lasted just two days, until midnight on Sunday, when the government said it had successfully tested most of the area’s residents. Thirteen people tested positive.

Further references:

Apple Daily 1 February 2021 'Worsening economic inequality in HK amid the pandemic | Yeh Kuo-hao'

HKFP 27 January 2021 'Covid-19: Sudden evening lockdown in Yau Ma Tei yields one positive case after 330 people undergo compulsory testing'

HKFP 27 January 2021 'Hong Kong legislature passes HK$1.5 billion for mega-bridge a day after gov’t rejects compensation for Covid lockdown residents'

CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:

Jordan lockdown 23 January 2021
Jordan shopkeepers protest demanding compensation for losses
An example of a subdivided or caged dwelling in HK!
Could YOU face covid lockdown in this HK "subdivided flat"?

209,700 people live in subdivided flats in Hong Kong, 2016 gov’t by-census reveals, (HKFP, 19 January 2018)

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