HK SAR Chief Executive pledges to leverage central government resources and support to fight worst wave of COVID-19 – Xinhua
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Hong Kong, south China, March 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Gang )
Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Hong Kong SAR government firmly shoulders the primary responsibility in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Hong Kong has emerged better and stronger from every major storm,” she said, vowing to better leverage all resources and support from the central government.
HONG KONG, March 10 (Xinhua) — Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong SAR) Carrie Lam said on Wednesday that the Hong Kong SAR government firmly takes primary responsibility for wage a war against the COVID-19 epidemic and that it would better leverage the resources and support of the central government.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Lam said the HKSAR government aims to forge a fighting spirit and flexible strategies and ensure everyone is on the same page, noting that all over 60 departments and 180,000 HKSAR government officials are expected to be mobilized to fight COVID. -19.
Lam said the Hong Kong SAR government has heeded suggestions from mainland experts, who have called for anti-epidemic efforts to focus on minimizing infections, severe cases and deaths. deaths of confirmed patients.
When infections are already widespread, limited resources should be channeled to areas most in need to ensure the lives and health of Hong Kong people, especially the elderly, to be well protected against COVID. -19, she said.
According to official data on Wednesday, the fifth wave of infections in Hong Kong resulted in 2,656 deaths, and the vast majority of those who died were elderly people with a median age of over 80. Most of them also suffered from chronic illnesses.
People wearing face masks line up for nucleic acid testing for COVID-19 at a mobile testing site in Victoria Park in Hong Kong, south China, March 8, 2022. (Xinhua/Lo Ping Fai)
“Whether elderly patients are at home, in a nursing home or already hospitalized, we need to provide them with better treatment, including both medication and personal care,” Lam said.
The concentration of medical resources is also important, and similar cases should be hospitalized in designated facilities to expand the capacity of public hospitals, she said.
“Now we only have a few thousand beds for isolation treatment, and in a very short time, this number is expected to increase to 16,000. As the total number of beds in all hospitals run by HKSAR Hospital Authority is over 30,000, we will effectively allocate half of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients,” she said.
Treatment is critically important so that mild cases of COVID-19 do not become critical, Lam added.
Lam said the HKSAR government is particularly grateful for central government support in building community isolation facilities, which have significantly boosted local capacity. “There may be as many as 70,000 community isolation units or beds in Hong Kong.”
Staff members work at the community isolation center (CIF) in Tsing Yi, Hong Kong, south China, March 2, 2022. (Xinhua/Wan Houde)
Hong Kong’s second community isolation center (CIF) built with mainland support was handed over to the Hong Kong SAR government on Wednesday. The first CIF, located in Tsing Yi, began admitting its first batch of COVID-19 patients earlier this month.
“The Tsing Yi facility with 1,300 isolation units was built in seven days on a site of approximately 60,000 square meters. This is something Hong Kong certainly could not have done on its own. “, she said, adding that the Hong Kong SAR government would spare no effort. give full play to mainland-supported anti-epidemic facilities.
She said that Hong Kong has weathered so many storms in the past years and managed to weather them all with the support of the central government, and she believes that the strong support this time will further strengthen the centripetal forces of the people of Hong Kong towards the country.
“Hong Kong has emerged better and stronger from every major storm,” Lam said. “This time will be no exception.” ■