UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Homeland Security

Global Times

Hundreds of mainland health workers to visit and help treat COVID-19 patients in HK

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Mar 15, 2022 12:17 AM

Hundreds of health workers from the Chinese mainland will be coming to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to help treat COVID-19 patients, said Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Monday.

The first batch of 75 doctors, nurses and assistants arrived in Hong Kong on Monday, while another 300 will come later in the week. More medical personnel will be coming in the near future.

The mainland health workers are coming at the request of the HKSAR government, Lam said at a news conference.

Tony Ko, the head of the Hospital Authority, said these health workers will mainly be deployed to the Asia-World Expo community treatment facility, where they will be treating elderly patients.

The HKSAR government has no plan yet to further tighten social-distancing measures because it has to take into account people's mental well-being and their acceptance, Lam said.

The Chief Executive said that the government has put in all necessary resources and efforts to keep the city safe in the past two years until the highly transmissible Omicron variant hit Hong Kong.

Lam said the vaccination rate is the most saddening part for Hong Kong.

"We have spent over one year to promote and encourage the citizens to be vaccinated. But unfortunately, the entire society, partly because of the low infection rate in the last year or so, and partly because of anxiety, worries and so on, we have not achieved this high rate of vaccination, especially among the elderly," she said.

Lam said that she has been assured by authorities in neighboring city Shenzhen that supplies to Hong Kong will not be affected, although the mainland metropolis is being hit by a COVID-19 surge and is forced to close communities and suspend public transportation.

"Cross-border truck drivers will pick up and unload goods at centralized transfer yards set up at border checkpoints," she said.

Hong Kong reported 249 COVID-19 deaths as of 5 pm on Monday, pushing the cumulative death toll in the Omicron outbreak past 4,000, local media outlets reported. The number is also the highest daily figure so far.

The health authorities reported 26,908 infections - 12,040 confirmed by laboratories and 14,868 declared by people taking rapid tests.

Local medical experts expected the number of COVID-19 infection in Hong Kong to remain high for a few weeks.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list