Cabinet-level health authorities from mainland China on Friday pledged in a four-way meeting to help Hong Kong fight its worsening Covid-19 crisis, if necessary, with the city recording a new daily high of 123 infections.
The National Health Commission held a video conference with the Health Commission of Guangdong Province, Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee, and Macau’s secretariat for social affairs and culture.
Thirty participants shared their experience in fighting the pandemic during the session. Chan also described the city’s latest situation and control measures adopted.
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But the National Health Commission did not reveal if Hong Kong authorities had officially sought help from the mainland, or how such assistance would be rendered.
Yu Yanhong, a member of the Leading Party Member’s Group of the National Health Commission, said the central government recognised the control measures adopted by Hong Kong and Macau, but expressed concern over the development of the health crisis in the former British colony.
She said the central government would offer every necessary support to Hong Kong over the issue, depending on the city’s needs.
In the meeting, Yu shared the mainland’s experience and its command system, community health control measures, testing capabilities and publicity efforts. She said authorities were willing to strengthen cooperation with Hong Kong and Macau to better protect lives in all three places.
Hong Kong has marked more than 100 new Covid-19 cases daily for three days straight, with Friday’s count of 123 infections taking the city’s tally to 2,371, with 16 related deaths.
On Wednesday, Chan refused to confirm if Hong Kong had requested help from the mainland, only adding it was normal for the two sides to have routine communication.
However, Hong Kong’s medical regulatory system does not allow the mainland to send health care workers to the city, where professionals working in that field must be locally registered. The offers of support are seen as a friendly gesture from across the border.
Dr Lam Ching-choi, a cabinet-level adviser in Hong Kong, earlier agreed the state could help by widening the city’s testing capabilities, and mainland construction companies could bid for projects to build quarantine facilities.
Three companies, including two with mainland ties – Shenzhen-based Sunrise Diagnostic Centre Limited is one – have been tapped to help Hong Kong’s government test 400,000 members in high-risk sectors. These include elderly and disability care home staff, taxi drivers, as well as workers in restaurant and property management.
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This article Hong Kong third wave: mainland China again vows Covid-19 help for city in cabinet-level talks first appeared on South China Morning Post