According to media reports, Hong Kong will impose a China-style Covid-19 app on the city’s seven million residents, raising concerns about increasing state control over people’s movements.
The city will begin putting electronic bracelets on those who test positive for the virus from July 15, according to Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau during a press conference, RFA reported.
According to the report, red codes prohibiting movement in public places have already been used in China to target people for reasons unrelated to their health.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said the city needed to “be realistic” about the risks it might face, citing 3,000 daily infections and a rapidly rising hospitalisation rate.
“That is why we are thinking of designing methods that will be able to allow us to react more quickly, to respond more precisely, and at the same time, allow more people to be not so restrictive in their activities,” Lee told journalists.
The LeaveHomeSafe app, according to Health Secretary Lo, will be updated soon and will require people to register using an ID verified form.
On confirmation of a Covid positive result, a person’s health code would turn red, preventing them from entering public places, while newcomers to the city would be given an amber code, restricting them entry to certain high-risk areas.
According to a Hong Kong resident named Mak, the app will be used by those in power to monitor and control citizens.
“It divides people into different categories, and people with a red code are denied the right to use any facilities or services, including withdrawing money from the bank,” Mak said, RFA reported.