‘Mainland supplies will be directed to those in need’

Commerce Secretary Edward Yau said on Monday that supplies arriving from the mainland to help in Hong Kong’s Covid battle will be directed to those most in need, instead of being handed out to everyone in the city.

Speaking to reporters, the minister said shipments are gradually arriving in the SAR, and Hong Kong has received some 4.5 million rapid test kits, seven million masks and 150,000 boxes of Chinese medicine from the mainland.

He said the supplies are already on the way to different government departments, care homes and residents in need.

“It’s obvious that there are priorities now. For example, places under lockdown and some frontline workers, like cleaners and property management staff. They are exposed to higher risks, and their need for tests and protective gear is higher than normal residents,” Yau said.

“As of today, Hong Kong generally doesn’t lack basic protective equipment like masks. But when we’re handling this infection wave, we have to target some jobs and people with high risks. And we have to prepare and ensure that there are enough supplies if we have large-scale testing exercises in future.”

Yau said the authorities won’t rule out asking the mainland for medical equipment, such as ventilators, if there is a need in future.

He added that the Government Logistics Department will also work hard to procure supplies through various means.