First phase of emergency hospital handed over to Hong Kong
The first phase of the Central Government-Aided Emergency Hospital in Lok Ma Chau Loop was officially handed over to Hong Kong on Thursday, offering 500 negative pressure beds, including 32 intensive care unit beds, and two operating theaters.
The hospital will provide a total of 1,000 negative pressure beds when construction is expected to be completed by the end of April.
"The delivery of the first phase of the emergency hospital will further alleviate the pressure on medical facilities in Hong Kong, and enhance the city's capability to fight the pandemic. We will utilize this emergency hospital, which shows the care and affection of the central government and compatriots toward Hong Kong," said Michael Wong Wailun, secretary for development at the Hong Kong SAR government.
The hospital has a total floor space of about 283,100 square meters. Apart from hospital beds, it will also provide about 10,000 beds for community isolation and treatment.
"With the coordination of the central government's specialized team, the Shenzhen municipal government, the Hong Kong SAR government, the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR and China Construction Science and Industry Corp have collaborated to tackle the challenges of a tight schedule, heavy workload and unexpected situation in building the hospital," Ai Xuefeng, deputy Party secretary of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, said at the ceremony in Shenzhen.
Construction of the massive temporary hospital began on March 6 and was completed in 30 days with key assistance from the mainland. China Construction Science and Industry Corp, designated by the central government to build the makeshift hospital, sent more than 20,000 workers to participate in the construction project.
Wang Hong, the corporation's chairman, said that its construction team had showed the power of China and the image of Chinese builders in the new era.
Radiology, laboratory, central supply and blood transfusion facilities are provided at the hospital, which also includes auxiliary facilities such as a pharmacy, sewage treatment stations and oxygen stations.
The makeshift hospital in Lok Ma Chau Loop is one of the nine isolation facilities that will be built in Hong Kong with the central government's assistance, providing a total of 50,000 beds.
The project at Lok Ma Chau Loop is the largest and most complex of all. A temporary bridge will connect the hospital with Shenzhen, allowing workers and supplies to go from point to point.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported 2,644 new COVID cases on Thursday, bringing its total to over 1.17 million. The city also reported 97 deaths, bringing the total in the fifth wave of the virus to 8,344－an overall fatality rate of 0.71 percent.
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