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State fully behind Hong Kong in fight against pandemic

By Tian Feilong | China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-23 07:28
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A medical worker helps an elder citizen with COVID-19 testing in Hong Kong, March 20, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

The fifth wave of COVID-19 infections in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has created new challenges for the city's prevention and control system and its ability to appropriately respond to the public health crisis.

Hong Kong's prevention and control mechanism is different from that of the Chinese mainland. However, the failure to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus will pose a serious threat to the health and livelihoods of local residents, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children.

Previously, Hong Kong made concerted efforts to contain the pandemic, with the central government only providing materials and personnel to the SAR government, as the anti-pandemic measures were initially regarded as a matter within the scope of Hong Kong's self-governance.

But the fifth wave of infections has been threatening the lives, health and safety of every Hong Kong resident, and undermining the city's prosperity and stability and the country's policy of integrating the city into its overall development plan. Therefore, the central government has to come to Hong Kong's aid in accordance with the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR.

The State's support for Hong Kong to fight the pandemic is for the greater good of the city and the country.

To begin with, the central leadership's instruction on how Hong Kong should effectively contain the outbreak is part of a national mission. While the SAR government takes the primary responsibility of containing the spread of the virus in the city, the central authorities and some departments in neighboring provinces will help the Hong Kong officials in their endeavor.

Second, an efficient and timely supply of daily necessities and medical resources and staff from the mainland has plugged the loopholes in the SAR's anti-pandemic system in a short time, significantly boosting the city's confidence in containing the virus.

Third, some of the mainland's effective measures to contain the pandemic have been applied in Hong Kong including mass testing, rapid construction of makeshift hospitals, and mobilization of people from different sectors in the fight against the virus. And the SAR has promulgated anti-pandemic rules according to the emergency law.

Thanks to the cooperation among the authorities, Hong Kong has adopted measures that suit local conditions and, unlike some Western economies, ruled out the idea of living with the virus or blindly copying anti-pandemic measures from mainland cities.

The city's health authorities are taking all infected residents into consideration and focusing on providing them fast and effective treatment, in order to reduce the fatality rate. While patients with mild symptoms are being treated in makeshift hospitals or being asked to quarantine themselves at home, those with serious symptoms are getting specialized treatment in established hospitals.

And since such measures have proved effective, an increasing number of Hong Kong residents are supporting the strict approach to fighting the virus.

In short, although Hong Kong, with more than 1 million infections and about 6,000 deaths in this wave, has had a hard time combating the virus, it can now hope to contain the epidemic with the support of the central government.

With the mainland's support, Hong Kong is capable of overcoming all difficulties and challenges and returning to the road to prosperity and stability. The central government's support to Hong Kong shows not just the advantage of "one country, two systems" but also the strong sense of responsibility of the country's leadership when it comes to safeguarding the health and life of people across the Chinese nation.

The author is an associate professor at the School of Law, Beihang University.

The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

If you have a specific expertise, or would like to share your thought about our stories, then send us your writings at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn, and comment@chinadaily.com.cn.

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