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Mainland-Hong Kong thematic meeting on COVID-19 epidemic
     The second Mainland-Hong Kong thematic meeting on COVID-19 epidemic was held on February 12 in Shenzhen. The meeting was hosted by Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO) of the State Council, Mr Huang Liuquan, and the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr John Lee, led representatives of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to attend the meeting.

     At the meeting, Mr Huang conveyed concerns of the Central Government, especially the Vice Premier of the State Council, Mr Han Zheng, and the Director of the HKMAO of the State Council, Mr Xia Baolong, on the epidemic situation in Hong Kong, and said that the Central Government will fully support the HKSAR Government in taking all measures to contain the fifth wave of the epidemic.

     Mr Lee thanked the Central Government for its support and care for Hong Kong, and said that the HKSAR Government will certainly adhere to the aim of achieving dynamic "zero infection" and place citizens' lives and public health and safety in the first instance. He also thanked the Guangdong Province Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government for their support and attention to Hong Kong, as a huge amount of work has been done on containing the epidemic and assuring the supply of food and daily necessities to Hong Kong, maintaining the daily needs of Hong Kong’s citizens.

     Experts from the National Health Commission (NHC) affirmed the efforts of the HKSAR Government in epidemic prevention and anti-epidemic work during the past two years.

     At the meeting, the HKSAR Government requested for assistance on various fronts, including (1) sending Mainland experts to assist Hong Kong in the epidemiological investigation and analysis; (2) enhancing the testing capabilities of Hong Kong; (3) assisting to construct quarantine and isolation facilities; (4) supplying rapid antigen test kits; and (5) providing anti-epidemic supplies such as beds, furniture for anti-epidemic facilities, masks and protective gear. The HKMAO, the NHC, the Guangdong Provincial Government and Shenzhen Municipal Government all indicated willingness to provide assistance.

     The meeting has the following outcomes: (1) the Central People’s Government (CPG) will actively and comprehensively consider the HKSAR Government’s requests for assistance and accepted in principle the general direction of the requests; (2) the CPG and the Guangdong Province will put in place measures to ensure the supply of fresh food, vegetables and daily necessities to the HKSAR; (3) the CPG, Guangdong Province and the HKSAR Government agreed to jointly establish task forces to tackle targeted issues as soon as possible. The task forces, including those on epidemiologists, testing, quarantine facilities, assurance of medical supplies, and other supplies, will be established as soon as practicable to study and formulate implementation plans on targeted subjects.
     The meeting, chaired by Mr Huang, was attended by Mainland members including Deputy Director-General of the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau and the Director of the Health Emergency Response Office of the NHC, Mr Sun Yang; Deputy Director of the Medical Administration Bureau of the NHC Mr Li Dachuan; Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the CPG in the HKSAR Mr Yin Zonghua; Vice-Governor of Guangdong Province Mr Zhang Xin; Deputy Secretary of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee Mr Ai Xuefeng and other leaders and experts.

     Led by Mr Lee, HKSAR representatives who attended the meeting included the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan; the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Erick Tsang Kwok-wai; the Secretary for Security, Mr Tang Ping-keung; and representatives of the Department of Health, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and other related departments.
Ends/Sunday, February 13, 2022
Issued at HKT 2:37
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