Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Ministers pledge to boost Hong Kong’s resilience to crises after Covid woes

Ministers pledge to boost Hong Kong’s resilience to crises after Covid woes

Hong Kong’s development chief says pandemic has shown the need for spare sites which can be converted into medical facilities at any time.

Ministers in the new administration have pledged to strengthen Hong Kong’s resilience to major crises such as the coronavirus pandemic in the future.

The four ministers overseeing development, housing, the environment and transport made the commitment on Saturday at an online forum organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects on the topic of a “Healthy City in Action”.

Hong Kong was forced to use venues such as the AsiaWorld-Expo exhibition centre and Kai Tak Cruise Terminal as isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients and treating the elderly at the height of the fifth wave of Covid-19 infections in March, with the public healthcare system overloaded and unable to cope with the surge in cases.

Dr Lam Ching-choi, a member of the Executive Council, the city’s key decision-making body, said some facilities lacked universal design – where buildings, products or environments were created in such a way that they could be used for as many purposes as possible.

Lam, who is also chairman of the Elderly Commission, said he found during visits to the two facilities that the beds for patients could not fit into the lifts.

“Because our infrastructure lacks resilience, venue uses are largely restricted,” Lam said.

He said universal design was essential for increasing the city’s resilience for coping with major crises.

Development chief Bernadette Linn.


Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn Hon-ho said the coronavirus pandemic had shown the need for spare sites which could be converted into medical facilities at any time.

The fifth wave, which began in late December, brought the city’s healthcare system to the brink of collapse and forced the government to seek help from mainland China to build thousands of community isolation units.

Currently, the government quarantines infected residents at the Penny’s Bay isolation camp and two designated hotels.

Community isolation facilities at Tsing Yi, San Tin, the artificial island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, Fanling, Hung Shui Kiu and Yuen Long have been put into standby mode.

Linn noted that increasing the city’s land supply would help expand living space, which had become of greater concern during the pandemic with poor families stuck in cramped subdivided flats due to stringent social-distancing measures.

Citing “Hong Kong 2030+”, an official planning report, Linn said the city aimed to come up with 7,300 hectares of land to meet demand of 6,200 hectares over a 30-year period from 2019 to 2048.

“Resilience can only be achieved when there is more land supply,” she said.

Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho.


Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho Wing-yin said new building designs would also help and they should be incorporated during the planning stage.

“As the epidemic will recur, our buildings need to be ready for devices such as thermometer detectors and disinfection instruments to be installed immediately,” Ho said.

She added that property management institutes had said installing mechanical disinfection spraying systems would be difficult in some old housing estates because “the Wi-fi signal was very weak for detection”.

Ho said it made her realise that “resilience may not be about grand ideas, it can be embedded in new designs. To create a smart city, we need to take internet networks into account”.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×