Lawmaker, Reverend Peter Koon, said on Wednesday that Covid patients in Hong Kong should be given the option to be sent to the mainland for medical treatment.
Speaking at a virtual Legco meeting debating a motion of thanks for the Chief Executive’s policy address, Koon said Hong Kong is struggling to find enough beds and quarantine facilities to deal with a surging number of patients.
He said the SAR government can ask the mainland for help to treat some of those infected.
“I would suggest we send Covid patients with mild symptoms to designated places in mainland China on a voluntary basis. The mobile cabin hospitals can be built quickly in Shenzhen or other parts of Guangdong, so that can release the quarantine pressure in Hong Kong,” Koon said.
“I think the motherland would try all its best to help Hong Kong deal with these Covid cases... I have the confidence that the mainland would accept this proposal.”
Other lawmakers, meanwhile, urged the government to use hotels and cruises as isolation facilities, and to set up more vaccination centres.
In response, Chief Secretary John Lee said a number of plans to beef up Hong Kong's epidemic-control capacity will soon come into force, with the help of mainland authorities.
Officials across the border had agreed to help the SAR in a number of areas, such as expanding its testing capacity and building more isolation facilities.
Lee, who joined the meeting while he was quarantining at home after his helper tested preliminary positive for Covid, said the measures will be implemented once they’re ready.
“We all understand that speed is of essence,” he said.
“As resources from the mainland arrive in Hong Kong, the government will be able to gradually expand our scope of testing, so that we can really achieve the target of early identification and isolation and effective treatment measures, and intercept transmission chains to provide effective treatment to confirmed cases to safeguard lives.”
The city's second-in-command urged Hong Kong people to remain united, saying the community must realise that the coronavirus is the territory's sole enemy.