Hong Kong hospital workers go on strike for stricter border controls to stop spread of coronavirus

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      With 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hong Kong, health workers are demanding tougher action from the Chinese government to stop the spread.

      Hundreds of hospital workers have gone on strike demanding a complete closure of the border between Hong Kong and China.

      The pro-democracy Hospital Authority Employees Alliance held a strike vote on the weekend, which gained near unanimous approval.

      For now, only rail and ferry services crossing the border are banned.

      There are an estimated 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong.

      According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, has refused to close all border checkpoints, saying this would be discriminatory.

      Several points of entry have been shut down and far fewer crossings have been reported since the coronavirus outbreak gained international attention.

      There have been more than 17,000 reported cases of the coronavirus and 362 deaths. All but one of those deaths has been in China; the only other one was a man in the Philippines who had travelled from Wuhan, China.

      There are 325 Canadians in Wuhan who have asked for consular help from Global Affairs Canada. 

      The Canadian government plans to fly them to an Ontario military base, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

      "I am proud of our highly trained medical personnel who will assist in maintaining the health and safety of those travelling from Wuhan," Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a government news release. "As requested, our personnel and facilities will be made available to help the returning Canadians. We will continue to work with our federal partners and are prepared to assist wherever we are needed."