Hong Kong to issue over 100,000 electronic tracking bracelets to COVID patients to enforce quarantine

  • The Hong Kong government will be distributing more than 100,000 electronic wristbands to better track COVID-19 patients amid the city’s fifth surge of cases.
  • Health secretary Lo Chung-mau announced during a press conference on Monday that those who test positive will have to begin wearing the bracelet on July 15.
  • The city had previously used the wristbands in March 2020 to enforce the mandatory 14 day quarantine for anyone coming from outside the country.
  • There were two versions of the bracelets given to patients: one much thinner with a QR code that could be scanned to check in, and another more intrusive, clunky version.
  • It is unclear which version of the wristband will be given to patients on Friday.

The Hong Kong government will be distributing more than 100,000 electronic wristbands to better track COVID-19 patients amid the city’s fifth surge of cases.

Health secretary Lo Chung-mau announced during a press conference on Monday that those who test positive will have to begin wearing the bracelet on July 15. 

The city had previously used the wristbands in March 2020 to enforce the mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming from outside the country. 

One version came in the form of a thin, paper-like wristband with a QR code that its wearers could scan and check in with their phones. Later, a much chunkier version that tracked the wearer’s movements without a phone were distributed.

The second electronic quarantine bracelets were known to be large and clunky. As seen in one Twitter user’s post, the wristband was much more substantial in size compared to an Apple watch and described to be very intrusive. 

It is unclear what version of the wristband will be given to patients on Friday.

As with China, Hong Kong has been known to have some of the strictest laws in combating COVID, starting with its “dynamic zero COVID” strategy. Earlier this year in February, all 7.5 million residents were mandated to be triple tested for the virus.

Lo, who was promoted to health secretary on July 1, has defended the zero-COVID strategy before, arguing that living with the virus would “get us all killed.”

 

Featured Image via RTHK VNews (representational)

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