Residents of a virus-hit Mid-Levels apartment have sent a letter to the Department of Health demanding the “legal basis” for their mandatory 21-day quarantine, threatening to take further action should authorities not give a satisfactory response.
According to Sing Tao, which posted a copy of the letter printed on law firm letterhead stationery, the displeased residents of Kennedy Terrace will view the quarantine as “false imprisonment” if the Department of Health does not respond by 10 pm on April 24, the day the letter was written.
They will also consider applying to the High Court for a habeas corpus writ, which alleges that an individual is being held in unlawful custody and calls for release.
It’s the first legal challenge that has been posed to health authorities since the COVID-19 epidemic began last year.
Residents of Kennedy Terrace, a luxury complex on Mid-Level’s Kennedy Road, were ordered into quarantine on April 23 after a 38-year-old domestic worker living there tested positive.
Because the domestic worker was infected with the N501Y strain, authorities arranged for residents to complete a 21-day quarantine—rather than the usual 14—given the high transmissibility of the variant.
Around 60 people living in the complex were quarantined.
The legal letter was penned by residents living in duplex units on the 21st and 22nd, and 25th and 26th floors.
According to The Standard, the Department of Health said yesterday that it has received the letter, and that it would seek legal advice from the Department of Justice if necessary. The residents are concerned are still in quarantine.
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