SFH visits airport to inspect border control measures (with photos)
Professor Chan first proceeded to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre in the restricted area of the Airport to inspect the workflow of "test-and-hold" procedures for inbound travellers under the Return2HK Scheme, including the arrangements for awaiting test results in the designated waiting area for Return2hk travellers. She then visited the Passenger Arrival Hall to see for herself the arrangements for inbound travellers to take designated transport arranged by the Government to designated quarantine hotels.
"Although the local epidemic situation is stabilising, the global pandemic situation is still under serious threat from mutant strains, especially the Delta variant. It cannot be ruled out that other highly infectious mutant strains will emerge, posing a serious challenge to the prevention and control of the epidemic. As such, the Government needs to step up anti-epidemic measures for inbound travellers from overseas through stringent border control measures together with a 'vaccine bubble' as the basis with an aim of building a protective barrier," Professor Chan said.
During the visit, Professor Chan learned from colleagues of the Port Health Division of the Department of Health, the Hong Kong Customs and the Immigration Department on their assistance provided to travellers in carrying out arrival quarantine procedures at the Airport. She also expressed her gratitude to them for standing steadfast at posts in the front line of anti-epidemic work and providing assistance to travellers arriving in Hong Kong.
Professor Chan ended her tour with a visit to the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal. She was briefed by officers of the Centre for Food Safety of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) on how samples of imported frozen food are taken for virus testing.
Professor Chan said, "COVID-19 is predominantly transmitted through droplets. The World Health Organization considers that it is unlikely for humans to be infected with COVID-19 via food consumption. The Government has all along been monitoring closely the development, and enhancing the surveillance, of imported frozen foods regarding the virus. As at September 12, more than 16 000 samples of various kinds of frozen foods and their packaging imported from different places have been taken by the FEHD for the testing of the COVID-19 virus.
"The Government will definitely adopt stringent border control measures with a view to preventing transmission of the virus in the community. As stated by experts from various countries, vaccination is the best measure and hope for Hong Kong and the rest of the world to recover from the pandemic. The Chief Executive has therefore mentioned earlier that all staff members who have had contact with inbound travellers should get vaccinated, including airport staff, drivers taking inbound travellers to designated quarantine hotels and staff of designated quarantine hotels. Furthermore, I appeal again to persons who are not yet vaccinated, especially senior citizens, chronic patients and other immunocompromised persons who face a higher chance of death after COVID-19 infection, to get vaccinated as soon as possible," she stressed.
Ends/Monday, September 13, 2021
Issued at HKT 18:00
Issued at HKT 18:00