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People's Daily Online

Lam expresses confidence as HK welcomes third medical team

People's Daily Online

By SHADOW LI and CHEN SHUMAN (China Daily) 08:47, March 01, 2022

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor reiterated on Monday her confidence that the city would stamp out its worst-ever COVID-19 outbreak with the full support of the central government.

Lam made the remark in a video speech that came on the same day as the city received the third group of mainland medical experts, led by Liang Wannian, head of the National Health Commission's COVID-19 leading task force. The team is made up of five epidemic control experts.

Speaking to media in Hong Kong, Liang said the fifth wave of COVID-19 in the city has pulled at the heartstrings of the whole country, and the central government has attached great importance to the situation in Hong Kong and called for an all-out effort to help its fight against the pandemic.

Feeling honored at taking on such a heavy responsibility, Liang said the delegation would lose no time in working out effective anti-pandemic measures with its Hong Kong counterparts.

Liang also expressed confidence in Hong Kong's ability to win the battle, with the staunch support from the central government, the strong leadership of the SAR government and concerted efforts from society.

In welcoming the five-member delegation at Shenzhen Bay Port, Lam expressed her gratitude for Liang's visit, saying that his rich experience in battling the COVID-19 pandemic will greatly help the city contain its worst-ever wave of the virus.

On Monday, a 3,900-bed makeshift hospital in Tsing Yiļ¼¨the first among nine temporary community isolation and treatment facilities to be built with the help of the mainlandļ¼¨was also completed. In total, these facilities could offer about 50,000 places for isolation and treatment.

Hailing the speed of its construction when inspecting the makeshift hospital on Monday, Lam said the project, which was completed in seven days, gave a shot in the arm to the city's anti-pandemic work.

Calling it the first victory, Lam thanked China State Construction Engineering Corp for undertaking these projects to provide tens of thousands of isolation and treatment places.

With the full support of the central government, Hong Kong will surely win the battle to get life back to normal, Lam told Hong Kong residents in the video address.

Calling for support from the public, Lam said the government will mobilize all possible means to contain the pandemic.

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said on Monday in a local radio program that the government did not rule out the possibility of a full lockdown in the city during the mass testing.

She said some or maybe even all of the samples would be sent to the mainland for testing, which has greater capabilities.

The government is ironing out the details of the program at full speed and is considering sending medical staff to take samples from those unable to reach testing sites, including those who are bedridden and in nursing homes, Chan said.

On Sunday, Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, chairing the sixth anti-pandemic coordination meeting in Beijing online, stressed that the central government will continue to provide full support to Hong Kong and make every effort to ensure a steady supply of medical resources and daily necessities to Hong Kong.

To cope with the upcoming mass testing, the SAR government will order more rapid antigen test kits and protective gear from the central government.

Hong Kong's college entrance exam, the HK Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, will be held on April 22 as planned and shortened to three weeks.

On Monday, the city reported 34,466 positive COVID-19 cases and 87 related deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the tally to over 205,780 cases.

The city recorded over 100,000 positive COVID-19 cases over the past three days after it altered its rules on counting positive cases by including the results of rapid antigen tests and test results from private labs without requiring further testing for confirmation by the Centre for Health Protection.

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