HKSAR and Mainland held anti-epidemic task force meeting (with photos)

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government promptly followed up on the consensus and achievements from the second Mainland-Hong Kong thematic meeting on COVID-19 epidemic. The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr John Lee, and the leaders of the five task forces of the HKSAR Government held a video conference on February 18 for the anti-epidemic task force with the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO) of the State Council, the National Health Commission (NHC) as well as relevant Mainland officials and experts, to press ahead the implementation of working arrangements and co-ordination in order to tackle the severe situation of the fifth wave of the epidemic.

     At the meeting, Mr Lee expressed gratitude towards President Xi Jinping for his important instruction on anti-epidemic work of the HKSAR. He added that the HKSAR Government would assume the main responsibility in accordance with the instruction, make every effort with staunch determination to achieve the target of "dynamic zero infection", and fulfill the three "all-s" and two "guarantees" as instructed by President Xi.

     Mr Lee said that the requests for assistance made by Hong Kong to the Central Government at the thematic meeting held last Saturday (February 12) received quick and positive response. He expressed his gratitude to the HKMAO of the State Council, the NHC and the Guangdong Provincial Government for providing full support and attaching great importance to Hong Kong. Four epidemiology experts, along with testing personnel and mobile nucleic acid testing vehicles, were assigned to arrive Hong Kong on February 17, just five days after the thematic meeting, to support the anti-epidemic work.

     During the meeting, the Vice-minister of the NHC and Head of the National Administration of Disease Prevention and Control, Mr Wang Hesheng, shared his valuable experience in the anti-epidemic work in Wuhan, Hubei in 2020 and gave suggestions on the tackling of the fifth wave in Hong Kong. The leaders of the five task forces from the Mainland and HKSAR reported their respective progress of work and the way forward. They conducted in-depth discussions and planned for follow-up and implementation of the most imminent tasks, including enhancement of the capacity of nucleic acid testing, enhancement of hospitals' capacity of admitting and treating patients, construction of community isolation and treatment facilities, ensuring of medical supplies and stabilising of supplies of food and other daily necessities from the Mainland.

     Mr Lee said the HKSAR Government will spare no effort and leverage the Central Government's experience and guidance in fighting the epidemic and fully utilise the Central Government's support in manpower and resources, with a view to enhancing Hong Kong's capability of "early identification, early isolation and early treatment" of the infected. The Government will continue to mobilise all available manpower and resources from the community and take all necessary measures to stabilise the epidemic situation and make this the most imminent mission.

     The meeting was jointly hosted by the Deputy Director of the HKMAO of the State Council, Mr Huang Liuquan, and Mr Lee. Joining the meeting were the Vice-minister of the NHC, Mr Wang Hesheng, as well as relevant officials and experts of the Central Government and the Guangdong Province. HKSAR Government officials attending the meeting were leaders of the HKSAR five task forces: the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Erick Tsang Kwok-wai; the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau; and the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan.

Ends/Saturday, February 19, 2022
Issued at HKT 0:58