Gov’t to retrieve HK people in Hubei

February 19, 2020

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government plans on bringing Hong Kong people stranded in Hubei back to Hong Kong, but their return will need to be arranged in batches.


Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung made the remarks in response to an urgent question raised in the Legislative Council today.


Mr Cheung said the Hong Kong SAR Government is very concerned about the situation of Hong Kong people in the province and maintains close communication with them through the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in Wuhan (WHETO).


He noted that after receiving requests for assistance, the Hong Kong SAR Government plans on bringing Hong Kong people in Hubei back to the city.


However, given the number of residents in Hubei is not small and due to the current situation, their return will need to be arranged in batches.


Mr Cheung pointed out that the HKSAR Government is assessing, in a thorough and prudent manner, the risk on public health and the practicality of the operation.


It has to avoid cross-infection among the returnees on their way back to Hong Kong, he said, adding that quarantine arrangements for returnees upon their arrival also have to be considered.


"We will proceed with caution and continue to co-ordinate and follow up with the relevant Mainland authorities. We will also maintain contact with the Hong Kong people in Hubei Province and provide them with every appropriate and practicable assistance, with a view to helping them return to Hong Kong as soon as possible.”


As of February 18, the HKSAR Government received more than 1,300 requests for assistance from Hong Kong residents in the province, involving more than 2,500 people scattering over 30 cities. 


Mr Cheung explained that some of the Hong Kong people in Hubei, especially those with chronic illnesses, require medicine provided from Hong Kong.


The WHETO has co-ordinated with the Department of Health and contacted those in need to gather information about their medical history in Hong Kong to obtain the medicine that they need from the Hospital Authority or private medical practitioners through their relatives and friends in Hong Kong.


Given that these people are in different locations across the province, the medicine has to be further distributed to their places of residence after delivery to Wuhan. The HKSAR Government is working full steam ahead on this matter, he said.


Mr Cheung added that as of February 18, arrangements had been made to deliver medicine to 120 Hong Kong residents in Hubei.

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