Hong Kong minister resigns for attending party

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s home affairs minister, Caspar Tsui, tendered his resignation on Monday to Chief Executive Carrie Lam after attending a top official’s birthday party despite warnings against public events amid a new wave of Covid-19, Chinese media reported. The minister, along with other high-ranking guests, was ordered to quarantine for two weeks after the bash, according to South China Morning Post. Later, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was found in two attendees of the party. “I made the wrong decision to attend a banquet on January 3 and behaved in an inappropriate manner when all efforts should have been devoted to controlling the spread of the virus,” the minister said in a statement, as quoted by the newspaper, adding that he failed to show the best example “during the recent outbreak.” The administration of Hong Kong chief launched an investigation into the incident, which revealed that Tsui was not wearing a face mask at the event and violated social distancing rules, a source familiar with the matter said. “The investigation found evidence showing Tsui had breached social-distancing rules to an extent that Lam regarded as serious and having overstepped the mark,” the source told the newspaper. Earlier in January, Lam reportedly suspended 13 senior officials who attended a birthday bash in the company of people who were later proven to have been infected with Covid-19, and ordered them to quarantine for 21 days. On Thursday, Hong Kong registered a record of 164 Covid-19 new cases. To date, 71 per cent of Hong Kong residents have been fully vaccinated, and 12 per cent have had their booster vaccine shots, according to the newspaper. UNI/SPUTNIK RNJ

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