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Opinion | Set aside the bias, and fight COVID-19 together!

Opinion | Set aside the bias, and fight COVID-19 together!
On 2nd August the first “advance team” has been sent to further aid Hong Kong from the Chinese Mainland. Photo: Xinhuanet

By Tiffany Wong

The third wave of the pandemic has arrived in Hong Kong, and since then there have been more than one hundred newly infected per day leading to reinstated social distancing rules in order to combat the further spreading of the COVID-19 Virus. As of 2nd August, the outbreak has been the most virulent one that happened in Hong Kong since January, infecting over 100 people per day for 12 days straight now.

Due to this circumstance, it is imperative that the Hong Kong Government react swift and decisive with the cooperation of all of Hong Kong’s citizens. While the pandemic was seemingly well contained within the last month, the new infections reveal that the virus is not just brought in by foreigners, but show that infected also come from within the communities with no clear sign of a source of the disease.

The lives of the citizens have been immensely influenced by the newly reinstated rules, and companies are also trying to adapt, as containing the virus outbreak is the top priority right now.

But in the face of this new outbreak the Hong Kong government has shown quick reaction, this time, with the installation of the first mobile field hospital in Hong Kong. Naturally this was achieved in cooperation with Mainland China, which agreed to not only further provide medical equipment, but also send “advance teams” comprised of medical staffs and specialist, in order to combat the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. Days before Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam voiced concerns about the outbreak being the vilest that Hong Kong has seen since January and the Hospital Authority also stated that the public hospitals are having trouble treating all the newly infected considering the rate at which the numbers are growing.

It has been debated whether sending medical specialists form the Chinese Mainland to help is reasonable, because there might be a possible language discrepancy between Cantonese and Mandarin, also stating that their qualifications are not up to the standard of Hong Kong. But seeing that the pandemic is draining the resources hurting the economy in the process, this seems rather silly. Even months before, China has shown that they have the capacity to aid Italy, Spain, Serbia, Russia, Algeria, Iran, Pakistan etc. not just by sending equipment but also by having sent specialists who shared their own knowledge and experience with them.

These arguments raise the doubt of hostility being brought towards their own people and the underlying worry that they might be substitutable in future as well, having to compete with the Mainland doctors. Another point of debate is that China offered to provide nucleic tests at very low cost, which in itself is very good. But immediately, there have been voices against it, saying testing should be left for the private hospitals to do instead. This leaves the question: what did private hospitals do during the pandemic to help Hong Kong citizens? Would they be able to do testing at such low price?

On 2nd August the first “advance team” has been sent to further aid Hong Kong from the Chinese Mainland. This team of professionals from Guangdong province met on the 1st August in Shenzhen and is to help with nucleic acid probing to effectively detect infected. They have been trained in nucleic testing, disinfecting, information collection and transportation. Specialists are experienced in performing large scale screenings, adapt at processing probes and operating the medical instruments. At the same time Mainland China is preparing advancement teams experienced with operating field module hospitals coming from Wuhan.

The current development in Hong Kong is a fresh wind and new hope in combating COVID-19. While some still argue that the situation is better than in other countries, the threat of the outbreak should never be seen lightly. Now everyone should stand united in containing the virus, setting political agendas aside. With the help from Mainland China, a quicker economic recovery can also be hoped for.

The author is Barrister-at-law.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Orange News.

編輯:WHon

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