Fears coronavirus spreading in Hong Kong, as hospital staff back strike

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  • Health chiefs raise worrying possibility that 75-year-old man who became 12th confirmed case on Friday might have been infected in the city
  • Hospital bosses to meet angry workers on Sunday in bid to head off industrial action
Thousands of Hong Kong’s public hospital doctors, nurses and other medical personnel have

voted to go on strike

from as early as Monday in a bid to force a total shutdown of the city’s borders with mainland China, even as health authorities raised the worrying possibility that the deadly new coronavirus was being transmitted locally.

Members of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, a newly formed group that emerged from the anti-government protest movement, voted 3,123-10 on Saturday to take industrial action in phases over five days.

The alliance, which claims to have 18,000 members, is part of a 77,000-strong public health care workforce on the front lines of Hong Kong’s battle against the pneumonia-like illness that originated in the mainland city of Wuhan in Hubei province and has now infected more than 12,000 worldwide.

“We voted to go on strike only because there were no other options,” alliance chairwoman Winnie Yu Wai-ming said, while further discussions with authorities on Sunday were still pending.



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