A volunteer group has donated anti-epidemic supplies, including some given by the central government, to more than 700 homes for the elderly and vaccinated over 30,000 children in Hong Kong since its establishment in March.
Kazaf Tam Chun-kwok, convenor of a support programme launched by the Hong Kong Volunteers Against Coronavirus to help homes for the elderly, said on Wednesday the group had helped more than 60,000 older residents and 10,000 staff by distributing supplies to 763 care facilities as of Sunday.
“After the concerted efforts of the community, we have completed phase one of the elderly home supplies support programme and achieved expected results,” he said.
“We would like to thank the central government for offering a large amount of anti-epidemic supplies, as well as the community for their active participation.”
Tam added that the supplies included a total of 1.64 million masks, 730,000 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits, more than 50,000 boxes of Chinese medicine such as Jinhua Qinggan Keli, 36,000 pieces of protective clothing and more than 1,400 oximeters.
The group recruited more than 130 volunteers online to take part in the management, packaging and delivery of supplies, Tam said, adding that it had “established a strong network of volunteers in 18 districts, with a total of more than 1,800 volunteers”.
Tam said more than 500 volunteers, including government officials and lawmakers, joined in to provide help to 155 care homes on March 7 and 10.
Hong Kong Volunteers Against Coronavirus was co-founded by Hong Kong Community Anti-Coronavirus Link and Hong Kong Volunteers Federation on March 7. It is backed by various government officials and lawmakers such as Chief Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu and Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen.
Authorities previously revealed that medical supplies procured under the full support of the central government, such as RAT kits, Chinese medicine and protective equipment, were given to relevant government departments and organisations such as the Hong Kong Community Anti-Coronavirus Link.
Among the 600,000 boxes of Chinese medicine donated by the central government, 170,000 of them were allocated to Hong Kong Community Anti-Coronavirus Link and other organisations.
Lawmaker Chan Hoi-yan, who is also the convenor of the group’s vaccination programme, said 31,700 children aged three to 11 were inoculated during 123 vaccination sessions, as well as more than 20,000 children aged over 12 and adults during other sessions as of Tuesday.
“To soothe the children’s anxiety during vaccination, we provided toys and played songs and cartoons at the venues,” she said.
“We also set up a designated area staffed by only female medical officers for Muslim women, who may feel uncomfortable rolling up their sleeves during vaccination.”
Chan added that they had set up several permanent inoculation stations across the city, sent mobile vaccination vans to remote areas and outlying islands, and arranged for home vaccination services.
“We also plan to organise 70 more inoculation sessions to benefit more than 20,000 children. We aim to vaccinate up to 10 per cent of children in Hong Kong,” she said.