This screengrab shows Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, addressing the launching ceremony of the Hong Kong Chronicles - "Hong Kong's participation in the country's reform and opening up" via video, Dec 6, 2021.
The pandemic situation in Hong Kong remains forbidding, and the Chinese mainland task force that has come to the city’s aid still faces mounting challenges.
Xia Baolong, a vice-chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, made these remarks while presiding over the ninth anti-pandemic coordination meeting in Shenzhen on Wednesday. Xia gave directions on work priorities to the special administrative region in its ongoing battle against COVID-19.
Xia Baolong, a vice-chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, gave directions on work priorities to the special administrative region in its ongoing battle against COVID-19
In the month since the anti-pandemic task force was set up, every participating organization from the mainland has gone to great lengths to help the SAR cope with the pandemic situation, Xia said.
“Medical and life necessities have flowed in, mobile cabin hospitals put together with the help of the task force have been put into operation, and anti-pandemic experts and medical personnel from the mainland have flooded in”, replenishing the dry manpower pool in Hong Kong, he said, adding that all these tangible achievements have helped the city.
However, the battle is far from over. For the rest of the fight, the focus should be on reducing the number of deaths, severe cases and infections; taking a hard and accurate line to contain the coronavirus in the most vulnerable population, organizations and communities; and prioritizing elderly patients for treatment, Xia said.
The Chinese mainland has never stopped providing additional resources, whether in the form of medical supplies or manpower, to bolster Hong Kong’s capacity and responsiveness when countering the formidable caseloads.
On Wednesday, a 300-member team of medical workers from the mainland arrived in Hong Kong to assist their local counterparts in treating patients. The team, from two public hospitals in Guangzhou and Foshan, comprised 46 doctors, 246 nurses, six radiographers and two managers, most of whom have experience in anti-pandemic work.
Xia also emphasized that special attention should be given to improving the utilization of the mobile cabin hospitals as well as community isolation and quarantine facilities; expediting the process of transporting supplies from the mainland to Hong Kong; and allowing traditional Chinese medicine to play an active role in treating COVID-19.
He added that any behavior intended to obstruct or impede anti-pandemic and precautionary measures in the city should not be tolerated.
Xia encouraged the anti-pandemic team to stand firm, brace itself for upcoming challenges, and stick it out until Hong Kong wins the ultimate victory against the coronavirus.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor also cautioned members of the public on Wednesday not to lower their guard even though the fifth wave of infections appears to have peaked.
While the number of new infections has hovered around 30,000 since March 11, the high caseload shows that an undercurrent of silent transmissions has yet to be eliminated, she said.
During the coordination meeting, Xia talked via videolink to anti-pandemic teams scattered around Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and other mainland cities.
They included a mainland anti-pandemic expert team in Hong Kong, a medical team and personnel for COVID-19 nucleic acid testing, a construction site team in a Lo Ma Chau Loop hospital and makeshift hospital, mainland manufacturing companies who provide supplies to Hong Kong and Da Chan Bay, and a Shenzhen port team responsible for shipping supplies to Hong Kong. Xia voiced his approval for their work and lauded their conscientiousness and intrepidity.
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