Hong Kong panics as residents buy essentials fearing impending quarantine

A 14-day quarantine is set to begin Saturday on anyone entering from mainland China

People in Hong Kong are taking action in anticipation of announced quarantine measures.

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Stores are being flooded with people stocking up on essentials in case measures taken against the coronavirus cuts off supplies.

The government has given few details on the mandatory quarantine taking effect in less than 36 hours on arrivals from mainland China, according to the South China Morning Post.

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The government announced on Wednesday it would impose a 14-day quarantine on anyone entering from mainland China.

In a proactive move, merchants that transport food urged the government to exempt cross-border truck drivers from the 14-day quarantine set to kick in on Saturday, to avert any delays in supplies reaching the city.

CHINA'S CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK KILLS 637, INFECTS MORE THAN 31,400 AS WORLD STRUGGLES FOR A CURE

By Thursday, more than 31,400 people had been diagnosed with the virus worldwide, mostly on the mainland, with the death toll at more than 630.

There are concerns that adequate quarantine facilities might be in short supply, with a search on to find new locations such as hotels or holiday camps.

During this time, a week-long strike by public hospital workers is in its fourth day.

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According to the Hospital Authority, 5,000 employees, including 220 doctors and 3,000 nurses have not reported for duty.