Carrie Lam (C), Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Qiu Hong (4th L), deputy head of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Henry Fan Hung-ling (4th R), chairman of HKSAR's Hospital Authority (HA), and other guests attend the inauguration ceremony at the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Center (HKICC) in south China's Hong Kong, Feb. 25, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
The central government-funded North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Center (HKICC) was inaugurated on Thursday, and it will first open a ward with 48 isolation beds on Friday.
The HKICC is the last of the three central government-supported projects for Hong Kong to combat COVID-19. The other two, a mass testing program and the AsiaWorld-Expo treatment facility, were completed in September and October 2020, respectively.
At the inauguration ceremony, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam expressed gratitude for the central government's support for the HKSAR government and care for the Hong Kong residents.
Qiu Hong, deputy head of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said the central government has been providing all-out support for Hong Kong's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic and will always be Hong Kong's strong backing.
The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, together with the HKSAR government and Hong Kong people, will prioritize the prevention and control of the epidemic and unite to overcome the epidemic, Qiu Hong said.
There are six two-storey ward buildings with a total of 816 isolation beds at the center, which will first open a ward with 48 isolation beds to admit COVID-19 confirmed patients, aged between 16 and 65, with mild or moderate clinical conditions, a spokesperson of the Hospital Authority said.
The center is able to provide intravenous medication and oxygen therapy, which can help alleviate the pressure for isolation beds in public hospitals. In addition, the six independent blocks of ward buildings can be activated in phases according to the evolving epidemic situation, allowing more flexibility in manpower deployment and operation arrangements, the spokesperson said.
Apart from routine tests for clinical management, the laboratory at the center is equipped with state-of-the-art and fully automated laboratory equipment to handle a maximum of 1,500 specimens per day and augment the overall laboratory capacity of public hospitals by about 15 percent, the spokesperson added.