HK to hire 1,000 caregivers from mainland

2022-03-01 14:28:20China Daily Editor : Hao Yunhui ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

Law Chi-kwong, Hong Kong's secretary for Labour and Welfare, said Tuesday that half of the city's 1,000 residential care homes are embroiled in the pandemic and the city is in dire need of helping hands in the hard-hit nursing homes.

Speaking on a local radio program, Law said the government is hiring 1,000 caregivers from the mainland on a three-month contract, and hopefully the first batch will be ready to come in two to three days.

According to Law, the situation is pretty dire for nursing homes, as half of the care homes have had positive cases, and in some nursing homes, almost everyone has COVID-19.

Even before the pandemic, subsidized and private care homes suffered from a 25 percent shortage of staff, and it has been compounded by the pandemic, Law said.

The newcomers, who will arrive in batches, will need to be trained for three days before going to the quarantine facilities or the elderly day care centers.

He admitted that the hiring may not go well and the government is willing to hire over 1,000 if there are enough people interested in the job.

Residents of nursing homes with confirmed infections are being quarantined at the nursing home due to the shortage of isolation beds and facilities, which could easily spread the virus to the whole facility.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Labour Department said the government relaxed some requirements for the care sector under the Supplementary Labour Scheme for three months ending on May 31.

The HKSAR government also sought help from the central government for coordination among the mainland authorities to provide facilitation on speedy approval of hiring applications.

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