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Coronavirus: Thousands of Hong Kong medical workers strike again, calling for closure of Chinese border

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Posted at 6:01 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 08:01:58-05

Hong Kong's Hospital Authority says 4,600 medical staff, mainly nurses, didn't turn up for work Wednesday as part of a strike by a medical union. The group wants the government to completely seal the border with mainland China to halt cross-border travel and prevent the spread of a new virus.

The medical union, however, says about 7,000 people took part in the strike Wednesday.

Opposition lawmakers also slammed Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's move Wednesday to quarantine all people arriving from the mainland for 14 days instead of shutting the remaining two land border checkpoints. They said it could lead to more people from the mainland coming to Hong Kong to seek treatment that would further burden the city's already taxed medical facilities.

Lam said the number of cases in Hong Kong has risen to 21, with three more local transmissions involving citizens with no travel history to the mainland and an unclear source of infection.