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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam's administration has been criticized for frequent U-turns as it fights a wave of omicron-driven COVID-19 cases and deaths.   © Nikkei montage/Source photos by Reuters and Getty Images
Asia Insight

China scrambles as COVID exposes cracks in Hong Kong leadership

Deadly omicron wave dents city's global status, while mainland fights spillover

PAK YIU, Nikkei staff writer | Hong Kong

HONG KONG -- When Ms. Cheung's rapid antigen test for COVID-19 turned up positive, the Hong Kong freelance writer had a decision to make. She could notify the authorities as required, or hunker down at home.

Cheung, who agreed to be identified only by her surname, chose to self-isolate with her partner in their 35-sq.-meter one-bedroom apartment. She feared that if she came forward, she would be carted off to one of the city's makeshift isolation facilities. The pictures were not appealing -- rows upon rows of spartan rooms, some converted shipping containers, with communal toilets and paper-thin mattresses atop wiry beds.

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