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Hospital Authority supports resumption of normalcy measures
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) spokesman said today (February 28) the HA will implement a series of measures to fully tie in with the Government's latest resumption of normalcy measures from tomorrow (March 1) onwards, embracing the full recovery of Hong Kong with the whole society.

     The HA spokesman said, "Lifting the mask mandate is an important milestone of Hong Kong overcoming the epidemic. The HA will tie in with the related policy in all respects, by gradually deploying anti-epidemic staff, beds and resources back to their original positions to take care of other patients, so that the services of public hospitals can return to normal as soon as possible."

     In order to align with the normalcy measures, the following arrangements will be put in place for some public hospitals' services.

Infection control measures

     To minimise the risk of spreading viruses and to protect patients from infection, all patients, visitors and staff are required to wear a surgical mask while entering hospitals or healthcare facilities. Before entering and leaving the premises, they are reminded to clean their hands and pay attention to hand hygiene all the time. Clinical staff are still required to perform a COVID-19 rapid antigen test before work every day. On top of wearing a surgical mask, clinical staff have to wear suitable personal protective equipment subject to operational needs.

Visiting arrangements

     Visitors do not have to perform any nucleic acid tests. They are required to perform a COVID-19 rapid antigen test within 24 hours prior to the visit and obtain a negative result. No prior appointment is required for visitors and the number of visitors has no limits. Visitors can take turns to visit but only two persons are allowed to enter the ward at the same time. The visiting hours of some hospitals will be extended and visiting sessions will also be adjusted.

Volunteer services

     Volunteer services in public hospitals will be completely resumed. Volunteers are required to receive proper infection control training before participation. Volunteers providing services in clinical area are also required to perform a COVID-19 rapid antigen test beforehand.

Continuous surveillance

     The HA will keep on monitoring the situation after the mask mandate is lifted, including the admission trend of COVID-19 or influenza patients. The HA has formulated different plans on the deployment of staff, beds and resources and will properly utilise different isolation facilities, including the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre, to admit suitable patients so as to relieve pressure of other hospitals.

     The spokesman added that the HA will continue to tie in with the Government's normalcy resumption measures. Members of the public are reminded to maintain hygiene at all times to reduce the risk of spreading viruses and to help push forward the full normalcy of public healthcare services. The HA is also thankful to all patients, citizens and healthcare staff for their co-operation and support to the HA in the implementation of anti-epidemic work and infection control measures.
Ends/Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:20
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