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People's Daily Online

Mainland moves imminent to further help HK with outbreak

People's Daily Online

(China Daily) 11:22, February 12, 2022

--City reported record 1,325 new cases on Friday, mobile quarantining weighed

Officials and medical experts from both Hong Kong and the mainland are exploring cooperative moves to help the special administrative region curb its worst ever COVID-19 outbreak.

A Hong Kong delegation led by Chief Secretary for Administration John Lee Ka-chiu will meet officials and medical experts from the mainland on Saturday in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, to discuss how Hong Kong can contain its worsening COVID-19 outbreak with the mainland's support.

The news came as Hong Kong on Friday reported a record 1,325 new infections.

Participants at the meeting on the COVID-19 outbreak will exchange views on the best ways to help the coronavirus-hit city get the contagion under control and stabilize cross-border trade before formulating relevant measures.

The Hong Kong delegation is made up of the heads of different SAR government bureaus and departments involved in the city's anti-contagion work, such as Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai.

Saturday's meeting will also be attended by officials and experts of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, the National Health Commission, the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, and the governments of Guangdong province and Shenzhen.

The HKMAO earlier said that the nation is concerned about recent developments in the city's pandemic situation, adding that the central government will fully support the SAR in battling COVID-19 and will ensure that a sufficient supply of daily necessities reaches the city.

Chan said on Friday that Hong Kong authorities are discussing with the mainland side the establishment of mobile hospitals as a solution to ease the acute shortage of hospital beds caused by the surge in infections.

Some of the city's lawmakers sent public letters over the past two days to the Chief Executive Office and the Food and Health Bureau, suggesting the government request the central government to lend a helping hand to the SAR to fight the fifth wave of the virus.

Lau Wing-hung, a 64-year-old retiree in the city, extended her gratitude for the central government's firm support for the city, saying she believes the well-timed meeting between Hong Kong and the mainland will bring good news for the city.

Lau said it is distressing to see the number of infections keep going up day by day. She said the worst thing about the latest upsurge is that the situation seemingly has been out of control and some patients cannot be sent to hospitals and had to stay at home as the medical system has been overloaded.

Lau hopes that the government can make full use of local resources and the mainland's support and adopt a multipronged approach to curb the spread of the virus as soon as possible.

Starry Lee Wai-king, chairwoman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said she hopes mainland experts will provide more effective advice on the city's anti-pandemic work at the meeting.

The DAB-the largest political party in Hong Kong-called on Friday for mass virus testing and expressed hopes that the central government can assist the city in carrying out relevant work.

Chow Pak-chin, an ophthalmologist and president of think tank Wisdom Hong Kong, highlighted the need to carry out compulsory mass virus testing in the city, saying "the outbreak is out of control".

Chow said testing must be made mandatory for all residents, except those meeting certain requirements. Otherwise, it won't have any impact on containing the pandemic.

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