Those who have spent time in the quarantine camps say conditions are grim and chaotic.
“You can call it a concentration camp instead of a quarantine camp,” Samuel Ho, an IT professional who spent a week at the Penny’s Bay facility on the outlying Lantau Island, told AFP.
Ho, asking to use a pseudonym, said he was given no instructions for his first two days and his only contact with the outside world was the cold meals placed outside his cabin.
He said calls to a government health line he was meant to report to often went unanswered.
“It was very chaotic, very scary and it could easily crash one’s mind,” Ho said.
“All the government’s arrangements have rendered Hong Kong an unlivable place.”
Last week, detainees at the same camp held a protest accusing authorities of keeping them beyond their discharge days.
Cyan, 25, was held at a different camp last month on Hong Kong Island alongside her grandmother and younger sister.
“The whole thing feels unreasonable and meaningless,” Cyan said, adding they felt they could take better care of themselves at home.
“I am wasting public resources when others in more urgent need cannot get any.”
Both Hung and Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, have called for the mass testing to be postponed to build enough units to isolate all cases and their contacts.
Hung is opposed to a lockdown and said energy would be better spent getting Hong Kong’s dangerously under-vaccinated elderly population inoculated.
Cowling told AFP a short lockdown could “slow down transmission”.