Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam urged citizens to "stay home as much as possible" amid the coronavirus outbreak, during a press conference in the city-state on Tuesday.

"We are making an appeal to the people of Hong Kong to stay at home as much as possible. This means that they should avoid some social interaction and participation in social activities, family reunions, friends' meetings and so on," said Lam.

While insisting that Hong Kong is a "free society" and that the government will not seek "compulsory closures," Lam stressed the importance of cooperation.

"In order to fight this virus, Hong Kong needs the full cooperation and active participation of every member in society. This is a time for social cohesion, this is a time for every one of us to display civic responsibility."

"For people subject to fourteen-day quarantine, I understand sometimes it's a bit difficult to stay at home for a full two weeks but they are doing a service to this fight against the virus by staying at home. I hope that they are not those who deliberately refuse to comply," she added.

Sophie Chan, from the Food and Health Department, touched on the situation of the nine Hong Kong patients who were identified as not following quarantine protocols for the coronavirus and who could not be contacted.

"[Center for Health Protection staff] will continue the work today because they are not sure whether they were asleep or whether there is actually no one in the unit so they will continue the work today."

The flu-like virus has infected more than 40,000 people and claimed the lives of at least 908.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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