Be more flexible in Covid fight: Tam Yiu-chung

Hong Kong’s sole deputy to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Tam Yiu-chung, has urged the SAR to be more flexible in its anti-epidemic work as he renewed his call for the Chief Executive election to be postponed in light of the Covid-19 outbreaks.

On an RTHK programme on Friday, Tam noted President Xi Jinping had instructed Hong Kong to make it its top priority to rein in the outbreaks, and said this shows everything else must give way, including the CE polls.

“How long to postpone? The outbreaks have yet to peak and there are a lot of bottleneck issues to be solved. And, even though we have the support from the mainland, after the assistance arrives, they won’t be able to turn things around immediately,” he said.

“I believe some experts said it will take two to three months. But how long will it take? It depends on our hard work and coordination.”

He said many things can resume when the case numbers start to go down, and there’s no need to wait for the city to go back to zero infections.

Tam was asked what legal procedures would have to take place to delay the election for Hong Kong’s next leader.

“There’s no need to worry about it…. Those things don’t matter. The legal procedures… there’s no problem. It will definitely be done in accordance with the constitution, the Basic Law, due procedures and regulations,” he said.

The mainland legislator also called on the SAR government to use quick test kits sent by the mainland, although they have yet to be approved by the Department of Health.

“Hey, just use them for now. They have been manufactured under mainland laws and are being exported to the European Union. Even if they are not 100 percent [accurate], use them for now. Even doctors can’t be 100 percent accurate in their diagnoses,” he said.

“We have to apply more flexibility and change our mindset.”

He also suggested that civil servants be trained to answer calls to the Covid-19 hotline, so medical personnel could be freed up.