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Balanced approach to curbing virus

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   Chief Executive John Lee today said he has asked the Secretary for Health to review the current anti-epidemic measures, aiming to strike a balance between containing the virus spread and reducing the inconvenience to travellers.   Meeting the media this morning before chairing the first meeting of the new-term Executive Council, Mr Lee said the Secretary for Health is considering how the duration of quarantine should be handled.   “I am giving him time to look at the statistics so that he will formulate some options for me to consider.”   At the same time, the Government will strive to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control and protect those who are more vulnerable to the virus, he noted.   “One of the important measures is to make good use of the polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test so that we can be certain that we will be able to identify those who are infected early, separate

Helper quarantine facilities explained

The Government needs to consider the implications on public health and hotel room supply when identifying quarantine facilities for foreign domestic helpers, Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said today.   Dr Law made the remarks to the media, explaining why the Government had to be prudent in arranging the quarantine facilities for helpers arriving from overseas.   “(While) trying to provide these quarantine facilities for foreign domestic helpers, we try not to affect the overall supply (of hotel rooms) for people coming back from elsewhere.   “It is very important for us to closely monitor the situation because there is always a risk that when we allow people from these high risk areas to come back to Hong Kong in large numbers, (it would) put substantial pressure on our system and there can always be a leakage.   “So to ensure our measures will not affect our overall strategy, we have to do it very carefully and step by step.”   Currently, one hotel is designated as the quarantine facility for helpers. Dr Law said the Government will keep exploring other options in view of the earnest demand for foreign domestic helpers.   The Chief Executive announced yesterday that helpers arriving from overseas may undergo quarantine at the Penny’s Bay centre on Lantau Island within September. Dr Law supplemented that he expected the new arrangement to be implemented in the latter half of the month.   “As long as we can find an option that is workable, we will make it known so potential employers will know when and how many (quarantine facilities) will be available in the near future.”
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