First batch of Hong Kong residents stranded in Hubei Province return to Hong Kong safely (with photos/videos)

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (March 5) arranged two more chartered flights to bring back 225 Hong Kong residents stranded in Hubei Province to Hong Kong. The chartered flights landed in Hong Kong safely at around 4pm and 9pm respectively.

     On board the two chartered flights today are 179 Hong Kong people stranded in Wuhan, and 46 Hong Kong people in other parts of Hubei Province who are in urgent need to return to Hong Kong, including one pregnant woman, seven Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination candidates and 11 who are suffering from serious illnesses or in urgent need to return to Hong Kong for medical treatments.

     With the return of 244 Hong Kong residents by the two chartered flights yesterday, the HKSAR Government has brought back a total of 469 Hong Kong residents stranded in Hubei Province in the operation this time.

     The Hubei Provincial Government has conducted verification to ascertain that all who were allowed to board the flight were not confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, and were not close contacts of confirmed patients. Before boarding, passengers had undergone four temperature checks respectively to ensure that they were not having fever, or developing abnormal vital signs, respiratory tract symptoms or other signs of infectious diseases, and they were also required to put on protective gears.

     Upon disembarkation from the plane, medical staff from the Department of Health briefed the returnees about the quarantine arrangements and checked their body temperature. They were then taken to the quarantine centre in Chun Yeung Estate by pre-arranged coaches to undergo 14 days of quarantine observation. They will also take a laboratory test to ascertain whether they are infected with COVID-19 virus.

     Taking part in today's mission include staff from the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, the Immigration Department, the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority. All of them returned to Hong Kong today by the chartered flights.

     The first two-day mission of bringing back Hong Kong residents stranded in Hubei Province has been concluded successfully. The HKSAR Government expressed gratitude to the care and concern of the Central Government and the immense support and co-operation by the Hubei Provincial Government and Wuhan Municipal Government.

     The HKSAR Government also expressed gratitude to Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon for arranging the chartered flights and the meticulous arrangements by the cabin crew who took park in this mission. The Government also thanked all public officers who have planned and carried out this mission.

     The HKSAR Government will continue to maintain close liaison with the Hubei Provincial Government and discuss with it matters relating to bringing back Hong Kong residents in other parts of the Province according to the principles of arranging it by batches and giving priority to urgent cases.

Ends/Thursday, March 5, 2020
Issued at HKT 23:15