‘Full-on war mode’ to combat Hong Kong Covid-19 outbreak, with Beijing’s backing

Hong Kong is fighting a war against a wave of surging Covid-19 infections that have swamped hospitals, forced shutdowns across the city, and crippled daily life.

Hundreds of medical staff from mainland China sent to treat Hong Kong Covid-19 patients after government invokes emergency law.

Officials have put Hong Kong in “full-on war mode”, with help pouring in from mainland China that includes supplies to meet escalating local demand, construction teams to build makeshift treatment and isolation facilities, and medical professionals to staff them.

The government has invoked emergency legislation to fast-track this kind of help from across the border, which would otherwise be bogged down in red tape and regulations.

Coming up next is a compulsory universal testing scheme in March to screen the entire population for Covid-19.

Photo: Chinese mainland sends medical team to help Hong Kong fight COVID-19 (SCIO)

Battling the pandemic was a key feature of the budget unveiled this week. The spending blueprint, worth more than HK$170 billion, covers help for struggling businesses and hard-hit people with consumption-vouchers, tax breaks, loans and rental relief.

The most eye-catching action offered for members of the Hong Kong public was a handout of HK$10,000 in digital consumption vouchers to each eligible person – it may not go far in easing the pain when so many are struggling to make a living, but it’s a morale booster nevertheless.

Source: SCMP, Yonden Lhatoo, Hong Kong Update, 26 February, 2022.