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People's Daily Online

Hong Kong's COVID-19 epidemic nears peak, exponential rise in cases ceased: mainland expert

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:33, March 11, 2022

HONG KONG, March 10 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese mainland expert has said that Hong Kong's COVID-19 epidemic situation is approaching the peak and plateau stage, with the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases contained.

The mainland medical expert team and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government have formed a high degree of consensus on Hong Kong's epidemic trend and anti-epidemic priorities, milestones and action plans, Liang Wannian, leader of the mainland medical expert team in Hong Kong supporting the epidemic fight, told the press on Wednesday.

Liang, also head of the COVID-19 response expert panel under China's National Health Commission, noted that reducing deaths in confirmed patients, severe cases and infections are the most pressing anti-epidemic tasks in Hong Kong at the moment.

It is also important that Hong Kong implements more precise and effective measures, and the care of the elderly, the most critical priority group, should be given priority, he said.

Liang believes that the HKSAR government is working on the above area, including assigning the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as a designated hospital for COVID-19 patients on Wednesday, among other anti-epidemic measures, which Liang thinks will help reduce the mortality rate due to the epidemic.

Other measures include providing more isolation facilities for infected elderly patients and accelerating their vaccination, and introducing closed-loop management for staff of elderly residential care homes.

"The reduction in COVID-19 patients' mortality rate will stabilize the Hong Kong society, relieve the public's panic and boost the confidence of anti-epidemic workers, especially health care workers," Liang said.

According to data and discussion results with Hong Kong experts, Liang said that Hong Kong's epidemic situation is approaching the peak plateau, and that the previous trend of exponential rise has basically been contained.

"This is good news, but we must not be careless," he said, adding that the duration of the peak plateau depends on whether the prevention and control measures are effectively implemented and relevant public health measures are further optimized.

Hong Kong should try their best in striving to curb the spread of the disease, identify infected people and prevent disease progression, Liang stressed.

Liang suggested that the HKSAR government would make improvements in the medical system, human resources and coordination, and at the same time strengthen treatment guidance and psychological care for a large number of elderly patients receiving home isolation treatment.

He said that vaccination is necessary to prevent severe COVID-19 cases and reduce mortality. He hoped that the HKSAR government will unswervingly and rapidly expand the vaccination coverage, especially among susceptible people including the elderly and children.

Regarding the timing of implementing a universal testing in Hong Kong, Liang said that that various factors should be comprehensively considered, including the purpose, conditions, means and capability. He believed that the HKSAR government has the wisdom and ability to handle this problem well.

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