The New York TimesThe New York Times

Hong Kong's Covid Crackdown Empties Stores and Sets Off Exodus

By Alexandra Stevenson

09 Mar 2022 · 5 min read

As the government in Hong Kong struggles to contain the city’s worst COVID outbreak ever, some residents have panicked. They have emptied supermarket shelves of vegetables and meat. They have raided drugstores for pain and fever medication. Those who could afford it have jumped on flights out of the city.

Tens of thousands of new omicron cases are being reported each day, and deaths have surged. The anxiety gripping Hong Kong is not just about the explosion of infections, but also about what the government will do next. Mixed messages from officials have left residents wondering: Will there be a lockdown? Will we be sent into isolation facilities? Will our children be taken from us if they test positive?

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