CE visits Centre for Health Protection and inspects quarantine centre at Chun Yeung Estate (with photos/video)
Accompanied by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, and the Director of Health, Dr Constance Chan, Mrs Lam visited various working units in the CHP including the home quarantine working group under the non-communicable disease branch, communicable disease branch, health promotion branch, emergency response and programme management branch, infection control branch, etc. She was briefed about the actions taken against the disease in the past month or so and exchanged views with the front-line officers there to learn more about their work.
The Government set up the CHP in 2004 under the recommendation in the report by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Expert Committee to strength the Government's capability in the prevention and control of diseases.
Mrs Lam said that the CHP has shouldered the duty to protect Hong Kong against diseases and has been standing at the front-line in the ongoing anti-epidemic work. She thanked the centre's staff for their dedicated work day and night in carrying out various initiatives including health surveillance, compulsory quarantine, isolation treatment, health declaration, exit screening, etc. She also noted that they meet the media every day to brief the public on the latest development of the disease, and disseminate heath information. A lot of the information is provided in different languages to cater for the needs of the ethnic minorities. She praised the centre's staff for their professionalism and high efficiency, expressing confidence that they will continue to spare no effort in tackling the disease in accordance with the three principles namely making prompt responses, staying alert and working in an open and transparent manner.
Mrs Lam, Professor Chan and Dr Chan later visited Chun Yeung Estate, which will be used as quarantine centre, to learn about its preparatory work. She noted that the first batch of over 500 units is now available and ready for persons under quarantine to move in, including the Hong Kong residents on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship who will soon be returning to Hong Kong from Japan by Government's chartered flights. She expressed her gratitude to the Department of Health, the Police, the Civil Aid Service, the Home Affairs Department, the Housing Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and the Government Logistics Department for their efforts in making ready such a large number of units in a very short period time to meet the anti-epidemic need, contributing to the protection of public health.
Mrs Lam stressed that all persons being arranged to stay at quarantine centres are not confirmed or suspected cases, and the operation of the quarantine centres must also meet the stringent requirements. Security and healthcare staff will be on duty round the clock in the quarantine centres. Transfer service for leaving and entering the centres will be provided to people under quarantine, therefore the impact on the community should be minor. She said she understood that the use of Chun Yeung Estate as a quarantine centre will affect the families who have been allocated with the units there earlier, but she hoped that they could appreciate the need to do so on public health grounds and support the Government's anti-epidemic work.
The Government has announced earlier that the Anti-epidemic fund will provide a one-off special allowance of $6,000 to the families allocated with public housing units at Chun Yeung Estate in Fo Tan, and Fai Ming Estate in Fanling which was severely damaged by rioters earlier.
Mrs Lam said the Anti-Epidemic Fund aims to strengthen the anti-epidemic work in Hong Kong and support the affected sectors and workers. As the Fund will benefit a large number of people and in view of the current emergency situation, she said she hoped that the funding application will be approved by the Legislative Council as soon as possible.
The Legislative Council has decided to convene a special Finance Committee meeting on February 21 to consider the funding application of the Anti-epidemic Fund.
Ends/Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Issued at HKT 22:45
Issued at HKT 22:45