Meet new mainland squad to beef up Hong Kong's epidemic fight: 38 meat processing specialists

Now, the legion sent by the Chinese mainland to support Hong Kong's ongoing fight against a raging wave of COVID-19 infections has a new squad – 38 meat processing specialists.

has already sent epidemiologists, isolation facility builders, and virus testers to support Hong Kong's ongoing fight against a raging wave of COVID-19 infections. Now, the legion has a new squad – 38 meat processing specialists.

They arrived in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Wednesday and will pick up the slack to kickstart the normal supply of pork and beef to the local residents after virus' outbreaks forced the shutdown of Hong Kong's two major slaughterhouses on February 25.

The team consists of experienced practitioners from Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanning, and Xilingol League – regions in all four directions of the Chinese mainland.

They are expected to be stationed in Hong Kong for two months inside a closed loop, said Ng Fung Hong, a top food distributor and slaughterhouse operator in Hong Kong.

The suspension of butcher service has already weighed on Hong Kong's supply of fresh meat. Ng Fung Hong said the 38 specialists, who have volunteered to join the task force, will get down to work once Hong Kong's food watchdog gives the go-ahead.

Zhou Guoming, the team leader, said he came well-prepared and has got support from both his company and family.

"With my skills, I feel honored to do something practical for the people of Hong Kong, so that they can take home fresh meat as soon as possible," Zhou said.

On the last day of February, the supply of fresh food from the mainland to the HKSAR largely returned to the normal level.

On February 28, about 2,100 tons of vegetables were transported from the mainland to Hong Kong by land and water, accounting for nearly 90 percent of the daily average vegetable supplies in the previous year. The supply of chilled meat from the mainland has been recently maintained at a higher level than usual, reaching about 1.4 times the daily average amount on Monday, official data showed.

As part of the Chinese central authorities' efforts to help Hong Kong combat COVID-19, a train carrying goods from the mainland arrived in the HKSAR on Wednesday.

The freight train loaded with anti-epidemic supplies in 18 containers came from Shenzhen. The goods include 1.1 million COVID-19 virus test kits, 20,000 pieces of protective clothing and other medical supplies. The supplies will be distributed to the anti-epidemic front on the same day.

The Shenzhen-Hong Kong freight train service is planned to run once a day at the current stage, and more times daily possibly according to the needs of Hong Kong. A single train trip takes 35 minutes.

The move also marked the resumption of railway transport of mainland supplies to Hong Kong, 15 years after the decades-old regular service of sending fresh food to Hong Kong by rolling stock ended amid the rapid development of highway transportation.

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