Hong Kong hospitals cut services as thousands of medical workers went on strike for a second day today to demand the border with mainland China be shut completely, as a new virus caused its first death in the semi-autonomous territory and authorities feared it was spreading locally.

According to the Associated Press, all but two of Hong Kong’s land and sea crossings with the mainland were closed at midnight after more than 2,000 hospital workers went on strike Monday.

Hong Kong health authorities reported two additional patients without any known travel to the virus epicentre, bringing the number of locally transmitted cases up to four.

Head of the communicable disease branch at the Centre for Health Protection in Hong King stated that the growing caseload “indicates significant risk of community transmission” and could portend a “large-scale” outbreak.

More than 7,000 health personnel joined the strike today.



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