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In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is deepening the political divide from the 2019 protests

The coronavirus was first detected in Hong Kong in late January, and since then there have been two deaths and 62 confirmed cases within the city. However, Hong Kong’s political stability following the violent and widespread 2019 protests has been threatened by the outbreak in mainland China, where at least 1,868 people have died so far. In an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, several goods have been restricted from being transported into Hong Kong as panic ensued in local grocery stores following the announcement of the restrictions.

Earlier this month, a video showing a crowd of people swarming a cart of toilet paper rolls in a Hong Kong supermarket went viral after residents were informed that the toilet paper supply would be cut off due to new border closures. After six months of violent unrest, Hong Kong had begun to return to normalcy when the outbreak hit. Now, the political divide has deepened as a result of the epidemic, combining a health crisis that demands a strong, unified response with a paralyzed government.

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