HKSAR Government welcomes support team of Central Government to help with anti-epidemic work of HKSAR (with video)

     A spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (August 2) expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Central Government for its proactive response to the request of the HKSAR Government made in the face of the severe epidemic in Hong Kong and the speedy formation of a Mainland nucleic acid test support team to support the anti-epidemic work of the HKSAR.
      
     The support team was co-ordinated by the Central Government and formed by the National Health Commission. Seven of the members arrived in Hong Kong today and will start work tomorrow (August 3) to assist with the preparation for a temporary laboratory with a view to raising considerably the virus testing capability of the HKSAR to meet the need of the Government to extend the coverage of community testing. To strengthen collaboration, the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, gave clear instructions on how to launch large-scale virus testing in the internal anti-epidemic steering committee meeting held in the afternoon yesterday (August 1).
      
     The Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, and the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Erick Tsang Kwok-wai today, represented the HKSAR Government to welcome the seven members of the Mainland nucleic acid test support team. They both expressed gratitude to the Central Government for its proactive response to the request of the HKSAR Government and the speedy formation of the support team to support the anti-epidemic work of the HKSAR. The relevant departments of the HKSAR will work closely with members of the support team to formulate a concrete work plan as soon as possible.

     Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government also noticed that certain individuals are spreading rumours intentionally on the Internet, claiming the Government will transport the DNA data of the public to the Mainland during virus testing, the HKSAR Government solemnly clarified that this is absolutely unfounded, emphasising that all anti-epidemic work done by the Government completely complied with the requirements of the law. The Central Government's support aims at enhancing the virus testing capacity. All virus testing will only be conducted in Hong Kong, samples of which will not be transported to the Mainland for testing. Regarding some people deliberately spreading false rumours, attacking the anti-epidemic work of the Government, the Government condemned such acts. As to whether spreading untrue claims intentionally by certain individuals would constitute criminal offence, the relevant Government departments will study the matter carefully and collect evidences for follow-up.
      
     Given the severe epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government sought the assistance of the Central Government earlier, primarily in the areas of enhancing virus testing capacity and establishing makeshift treatment facilities, and received staunch support by the Central Government. Representatives of the relevant departments of the Mainland and relevant officials of the HKSAR met earlier and set up a working group to take charge of the implementation work. In addition to the above-mentioned support team, the HKSAR Government is pleased to learn that the National Health Commission has formed another support team to assist the HKSAR Government to establish a makeshift community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo similar to the "mobile cabin hospital". The HKSAR Government expressed the hope that with the support of the Central Government, the whole community will fight the virus together to curb the increasingly severe epidemic as soon as possible.
     




HA apologises for inappropriate admission to Community Treatment Facility

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The spokesman of Hospital Authority (HA) made an announcement today (August 2) regarding a citizen being inappropriately sent to the Community Treatment Facility:
      
     The HA arranged to send a woman by an ambulance to the Community Treatment Facility in the AsiaWorld-Expo at around 4pm yesterday (August 1) for isolation treatment according to the list of confirmed cases requiring hospital admission.
      
     Upon arrival, preliminary examination for the woman showed that her clinical condition was stable and suitable for receiving isolation treatment in the Community Treatment Facility.
      
     At 10pm on the same day, a doctor reviewed her information in the Clinical Management System and found that there have not been any positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results recorded.
      
     The viral test results were being reconfirmed this morning. The assessment by the healthcare staff confirmed that the woman had mainly stayed in her individual cubicle during her stay in the Community Treatment Facility. She had not contacted other patients and had worn a surgical mask. She was arranged to be transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation. COVID-19 test was arranged and the result was negative.
      
     The HA initially reviewed the incident and identified the need to strengthen the verification of the list of confirmed cases, including the confirmation of laboratory results at various junctures. In view of the recent escalation in the number of confirmed cases, the HA will work with the Centre for Health Protection to review the workflow for verifying confirmed patient information and laboratory results. Staff in departments concerned will be reminded to strengthen the verification of patient clinical information to avoid a recurrence of similar incidents.
      
     The Hospital Authority apologises to the woman for the inconvenience caused to her.




Public hospitals daily update on COVID-19 cases

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     As at 9am today (August 2), 101 COVID-19 confirmed patients (case numbers: 1315, 1323, 1395, 1458, 1513, 1532, 1537, 1543, 1544, 1546, 1620, 1639, 1643, 1661, 1662, 1739, 1838, 1839, 1850, 1867, 1881, 1885, 1916, 1943, 1951, 1962, 1970, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1995, 2004, 2005, 2054, 2063, 2075, 2083, 2093, 2110, 2117, 2119, 2130, 2136, 2145, 2170, 2178, 2188, 2229, 2249, 2275, 2278, 2319, 2324, 2332, 2340, 2342, 2355, 2380, 2393, 2401, 2402, 2413, 2426, 2428, 2430, 2462, 2486, 2488, 2503, 2513, 2516, 2526, 2546, 2562, 2584, 2602, 2608, 2614, 2629, 2640, 2648, 2655, 2668, 2697, 2700, 2706, 2728, 2766, 2779, 2786, 2841, 2876, 2897, 2904, 2915, 2937, 2954, 3094, 3123, 3126 and 3138) were discharged from hospital.  So far a total of 1 959 patients with confirmed or probable infection have been discharged.
      
     At present, there are 676 negative pressure rooms in public hospitals with 1 256 negative pressure beds activated. A total of 1 176 confirmed patients are currently hospitalised in 19 public hospitals and a community isolation facility, among which 37 patients are in critical condition (case numbers: 595, 1346, 1401, 1424, 1470, 1491, 1650, 1679, 1718, 1767, 1777, 1779, 1806, 1835, 1940, 1955, 1989, 2007, 2048, 2086, 2115, 2133, 2161, 2172, 2269, 2282, 2408, 2479, 2484, 2792, 2942, 3153, 3170, 3274, 3307, 3367 and 3372), 44 are in serious condition (case numbers: 1498, 1573, 1795, 1805, 1843, 1952, 1956, 1968, 1998, 2033, 2038, 2078, 2079, 2143, 2148, 2288, 2315, 2316, 2334, 2358, 2362, 2396, 2412, 2422, 2452, 2458, 2522, 2560, 2576, 2591, 2595, 2650, 2746, 2769, 2789, 2894, 2901, 2940, 2941, 2951, 3025, 3285, 3317 and 3366) and the remaining 1 095 patients are in stable condition.
      
     The preliminary positive result of the deceased patient announced by HA earlier was confirmed today (case number: 3423).  Including this case, a total of 35 COVID-19 confirmed patients have passed away in public hospitals so far.
          
     The HA will maintain close contact with the Centre for Health Protection to monitor the latest developments and to inform the public and healthcare workers on the latest information in a timely manner.




Arrangement of hearings at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts

The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:
     
     The Judiciary today (August 2) said that cleansing and disinfection have been completed in all courts and public areas of the Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts (KCM) after confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving two security personnel were recorded earlier. The security personnel concerned were employed by the police's contractor and tasked with security duties in courtrooms at the KCM. The patients and their close contacts had stopped working at the KCM before commencement of cleansing and disinfection.

     For the sake of prudence, starting from tomorrow (August 3), all fresh remand cases to be handled at the KCM will be diverted to the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts until further notice to further reduce the flow of people. Other hearings of the KCM will generally proceed as scheduled unless directed otherwise by the court. 

     For enquiries, the following hotline will be operated from Monday to Friday 8.45am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 5pm (except public holidays):

     Magistrates' Courts: 2677 8373

     To provide further information to the public, details of confirmed or preliminary positive cases of COVID-19 involving staff working on Judiciary premises and court users who have stayed in the court areas for relatively long hours in the past 14 days have been uploaded to the Judiciary website (www.judiciary.hk) for reference.

     Court business is an essential public service. The effective and efficient administration of justice is integral to the Judiciary's mission to uphold the rule of law. It is therefore incumbent upon the Judiciary to closely monitor the changing public health situation with a view to striking a proper balance between protecting public health and maintaining the access to justice.

     The Judiciary will continue to strictly enforce appropriate preventive and crowd management measures. These measures include enhanced cleansing and disinfection of public areas, requiring all people entering the Judiciary premises to undergo body temperature checks and wear surgical masks at all times unless otherwise directed by the judge, expansion of registry/office areas as far as possible, and putting in place necessary queuing, ticketing and other crowd management arrangements to regulate the people flow and avoid crowding.




LCSD Amenities Assistant preliminarily tests positive for COVID-19

     The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (August 2) said that an Amenities Assistant has preliminarily tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

     The Amenities Assistant concerned provides supporting services at Sheung Wan Municipal Services Building in Central and Western District. The area he works at is not open to the public. He last performed his duties on July 30. He felt unwell earlier and sought medical treatment at a hospital. He was notified yesterday (August 1) that he had preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.

     The staff concerned has no recent travel history. He wore surgical masks when performing his duties. His body temperature was normal when undergoing temperature screening during work.

     The LCSD will arrange thorough cleaning and sterilisation at the work areas concerned and all related public facilities according to guidelines provided by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP). 

     The LCSD is highly concerned about the COVID-19 epidemic and will continue to maintain close liaison with the CHP. Staff are reminded to pay attention to personal hygiene and to stay vigilant. They should seek medical advice immediately if feeling unwell.