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Hong Kong orders about 170 party-goers to quarantine

HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong authorities ordered about 170 people, including several officials, to be quarantined at a government facility yesterday after they attended a birthday party where two guests later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam expressed disappointment on Thursday that government officials had attended the large party during the Omicron outbreak, saying it did not set a good example for the public.

Fears of a new virus cluster were sparked when the two guests tested positive.

Yesterday, health authorities said all guests at the January 3 party would be classified as close contacts and be sent to mandatory quarantine.

The city has been racing to control the Omicron variant, with authorities locking down multiple residential buildings for mass testing and sending hundreds of people into quarantine.

About 170 guests attended the birthday party, including about nine government officials and nearly 20 lawmakers.

“We now think that every person who had gone to the party is now a close contact.

“Therefore, our quarantine work is specifically aimed at the people who have attended the party,” said head of the communicable disease branch at the Center for Health Protection Chuang Shuk-kwan.

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