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Hong Kong Struggles with Coronavirus, Renewing Residents’ Anger

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Hong Kong Struggles with Coronavirus, Renewing Residents’ Anger

A demonstrator holds a placard during a Feb. 2 protest calling on Hong Kong’s government to close its border with China. (Photo by Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) For eight months, pro-democracy protesters have clashed with police on the streets of Hong Kong. Often clad in black, they wear facemasks to protect their identities — a move the government has attempted to ban .

Early this year, an outbreak of a new coronavirus appeared in mainland China. The virus quickly spread — first to neighboring Thailand and Japan, and eventually to Hong Kong in late January.

On Feb. 5, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam appeared before the cameras wearing a green facemask of her own — and appealed to the protesters to set aside their differences. “This is a time really for social cohesion, for getting our act together in order to fight this disease,” she said . She also lauded her government’s swift action. “Since we were first notified of this virus in the last month or so, we have been very vigilant.”

But as the number of cases in the semi-autonomous city have continued to rise, so too has the level of anger at Lam’s response. As of Feb. 11, Hong Kong had 49 confirmed cases of the virus. Many in Hong Kong, including those who formerly supported the Beijing-backed regime, are furious that Lam hasn’t yet sealed its border with mainland China and failed to provide enough face masks for residents, said Vivienne Chow, a Hong Kong […]

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