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HK readies new quarantine and treatment sites to brace for future Covid wave

01 October 2020

 By The SUN

Site of the new Covid-19 hospital with 800 beds near the HK Airport 

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said another wave of the coronavirus epidemic could hit Hong Kong in the future, so the government is preparing more quarantine and treatment facilities to fight the health menace more effectively.

Lam made the statement during a visit to Penny's Bay and AsiaWorld-Expo on Lantau Island on Sept 29 to inspect various Covid-19 quarantine and community treatment facilities, as well as a temporary hospital being built on a lot adjacent to AWE.

During the visit she learned more about the completed projects and the progress of ongoing works.

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“Although the epidemic situation in Hong Kong has slightly eased recently, there are risks of another wave in the future,” Lam said.

“The government will stay vigilant and is using the time to review comprehensively all prevention and control measures, including preparing more quarantine and treatment facilities, to cope with the epidemic more effectively in the future,” she said.

She also appealed to members of the public to continue to fully comply with various social distancing measures, especially during the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival long holidays.

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“They should maintain the awareness of epidemic prevention and maintain personal and environmental hygiene at all times to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus,” Lam said.

Lam was accompanied by the Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan and the Undersecretary for Development, Liu Chun-san as she inspected the newly completed Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre Phase 2.

She toured some units, including a barrier-free unit, the medical and the command posts, and was briefed by the staff on the construction and management of the quarantine centre, which is expected to completed by the end of the year. 

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A total of 3,500 self-contained units will be available at the quarantine center, in addition to about 500 in various facilities across the territory.

Lam and the other officials then departed for AWE where she was briefed by staff members of the Architectural Services Department and the contractor on the temporary hospital to be built adjacent to the facility.

Pre-construction work on the site is under way, and the treatment facility is expected to be operational in four months. More than 800 beds will be put in place in negative pressure wards, to complement the more than 1,000 isolation beds in public hospitals.

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Lam then inspected the construction of the AWE expansion wing, including the newly built enclosed cubicle and the medical command post. Two halls in AWE were earlier retrofitted to provide room for 900 beds, in preparation for another possible outbreak.

Lam and Chan inspect the expansion wing of the AWE treatment facility

The expansion work is expected to be completed in about four weeks and provide an additional 1,000 beds.

Lam praised the construction team for their ongoing hard work in overcoming various challenges of the project to meet the needs of the new treatment facilities.

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She then proceeded to inspect the quarantine facility of the Social Welfare Department in another hall of AWE, where 640 beds have been set up for use by residents of elderly homes and care facilities for persons with disabilities, if needed.
 
Lam thanked the Central Government for supporting the expansion of the quarantine facilities and in building the temporary hospital, as well as the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government for assisting with the projects.

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