The whole virus lockdown area from Battery Street to Nathan Road needs urban renewal, said Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, on the doorstep of the locked-down district this morning.
Cheung was speaking after a press conference to discuss the “restriction-testing declaration” area, under which over five hectares of densely populated shops, offices and tenements were sealed off in the small hours of Saturday. Residents are under mandatory testing, and nobody may leave the area once they have spent more than two hours inside.
The site of the press conference, the Yau Tsim Mong Multicultural Centre, was, until December 2019, a moderate-sized park and sitting out area. Asked if Hong Kong’s development, such as concreting parks and open space, had contributed to the problems of crowding and virus transmission, Cheung replied “That’s why we have to improve this area, we need redevelopment, urban renewal is needed.”
Cheung said building management in the area was “less than satisfactory”, adding that “some buildings have no management at all”.
Cheung also said the whole area will be given a “deep cleansing” after the lockdown, which the government hopes to lift by 6am Monday morning.