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The scenes were straight out of China’s coronavirus playbook. Armies of workers, deployed to lock down residents. Plans to erect a massive makeshift hospital. And on Wednesday, a command from Xi Jinping, the country’s top leader, plastered across local front pages: “Make controlling the epidemic as soon as possible an overwhelming priority.”

The site of the latest outbreak, though, was not mainland China, but neighboring Hong Kong. And unlike on the mainland, where the government’s lofty language has been followed by quick results, no such relief is in sight.

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