Hong Kong leader disappointed over officials' large party

AP , Thursday 6 Jan 2022

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said Thursday she was disappointed that nine government officials attended a large birthday party that has sparked fears of a new omicron cluster after a guest tested positive for the coronavirus.

Carrie Lam
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.

At least one official who was a guest, Secretary of Home Affairs Caspar Tsui, will be quarantined at a government facility after being designated a close contact of the COVID-19 patient.

Lam said authorities are still investigating if the eight other officials will be classified as close contacts.

"I must say I am disappointed. We have been mounting an all-out effort in fighting the epidemic,'' Lam said. "As top government officials, there is all the more reason for us to set a good example and avoid attending private gatherings that may pose a major hazard.''

Over the past week, Hong Kong has locked down multiple residential buildings and tested thousands after omicron clusters emerged in the city, many linked to several Cathay Pacific crew members who had broken isolation rules and dined at restaurants and bars before testing positive for the omicron variant.

Local media, including the South China Morning Post, reported that the party was held at a restaurant on Jan 3. for Witman Hung, principal liaison officer for Hong Kong at the Shenzhen Qianhai Authority, which oversees economic development between Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.

Other officials present at the party included Hong Kong police chief Raymond Siu, according to Lam.

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