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Global Times

Central govt offers HK help to fight COVID-19

Global Times

By Zhang Hui and Qi Xijia Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/24 21:03:40

The central government will provide the necessary support to Hong Kong to fight COVID-19, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Friday, as the region saw a new record number of confirmed cases in a single day on Friday amid the third wave of coronavirus infections.

The NHC held a special coronavirus prevention video conference with health officials and experts from Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SAR) on Friday, during which NHC officials shared the prevention and control experience of the Chinese mainland and expressed their willingness to deepen cooperation with the two SARs.

The experts discussed the management of makeshift hospitals, nucleic acid testing, and community management.

Hong Kong on Friday activated a resort-converted community quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients, also known as the Hong Kong makeshift hospital.

The facility, located at Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village in Chai Wan, will accommodate recovering confirmed coronavirus patients and patients in stable condition to alleviate the demand of isolation beds at public hospitals, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority told the Global Times in an email on Friday.

The facility is equipped with over 300 rooms all with baths and toilets.

Twenty-three people were admitted to the quarantine facility on the first day of operations, and the Hospital Authority will continue to explore the feasibility of building more community quarantine facilities, the authority said.

According to Sing Tao Daily, Hong Kong plans to build another makeshift hospital in Asia World-Expo, which is expected to offer some 1,000 beds.

Hong Kong reported a record of 123 new COVID-19 cases in a single day on Friday, including 115 local cases and eight imported cases.

The coronavirus situation in Hong Kong has worsened as infections in the past week climbed up. From July 16 to 22, the city reported a total of 543 confirmed cases in one week, of which 481 were local cases, up from 265 confirmed cases the previous week, said Chui Tak-yi, deputy secretary of Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau in a briefing on Thursday.

Jin Dongyan, a professor at the School of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Friday that the latest virus strain was probably from Europe.

Jin said experiments showed that the viral load of patients in Hong Kong's fresh outbreak was higher than patients in Wuhan.

But it does not mean Hong Kong's coronavirus transmission ability is stronger than the virus in Wuhan as only one base of over 30,000 bases was different with the virus strain in the Wuhan outbreak, Jin said.

Jin believes it's not a major outbreak, and Hong Kong's epidemic situation will not become as serious as in New York or Milan in March.

He said it's necessary to build more makeshift hospitals in Hong Kong, and the Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village makeshift hospital is expected to have a second and third phase.

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