When it comes to war, the worst things that could happen is your frontline fighters deserting the battlefield.
In the situation of the Wuhan virus, the fighters are your everyday medical workers, including doctors, nurses and more.
And in Hong Kong, these people are threatening to walk away.
“Close The Borders”
Singapore has already closed its borders to visitors from China among a few other countries.
And a newly-formed medical union in Hong Kong is calling for authorities to implement the same measures.
Hong Kong has 15 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and they were brought over from the mainland.
They set out their demands on Saturday, 1 Feb 2020, and warned the authorities that if the borders were not closed, medical workers will go on strike.
The authorities did not comply. Instead, they clarified that they have closed some crossings from the mainland.
This, they claimed, has caused the number of visitors from China to drop “significantly”.
Hundreds of ‘Non-Essential’ Medical Workers Go On Strike
With that, the union decide to make good on their threats.
On 3 Feb 2020, hundreds of ‘non-essential’ medical workers threw down their tools and refused to work.
And this is just the beginning.
If the borders are not closed, more medical workers will leave their positions.
Workers who went on strike gathered around the hospitals and handed out white ribbons. They were trying to convince their colleagues to join in their efforts.
And that’s not the end.
The union promised that if their demands were not met on Tuesday, doctors and nurses will start leaving.
Sympathetic But “Not The Right Way”
According to a spokesperson for the union, without closing down the borders, more cases will be brought into the city.
This will result in a lack of manpower, protective equipment and isolation rooms to fight against the virus.
The Hospital Authority, on the other hand, disapprove of their actions.
While they were sympathetic, they could only think of one group of people who are hurt by the strike: the patients.
They estimate that half of the pre-booked operations in Hong Kong might be delayed or cancelled because of the strike.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government is asking for everybody to retain their professionalism and help Hong Kong through the crisis.