HKSAR government enhances support for people under home quarantine
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government will continue to enhance the support for people under home quarantine due to COVID-19, Chief Executive of the HKSAR Carrie Lam said on Sunday.
Lam said during a daily press conference on anti-epidemic measures that an estimated 300,000 people are currently undergoing home quarantine, although it is likely to be an exaggerated figure since some have successfully completed their isolation.
"The HKSAR government has continued to enhance its ability to support these homebound people, but we are still 'catching up'," said Lam.
According to Lam, current support for people under home quarantine includes the distribution of anti-epidemic supply kits and a hotline inquiry service, where door-to-door delivery of supplies will be provided if necessary after assessment by the HKSAR government.
The government will also provide medical support including emotional support, health assessment, remote consultation, as well as accepting appointments at designated clinics of the Hospital Authority, Lam said.
Alfred Sit, secretary for innovation and technology of the HKSAR government, said that the HKSAR government has already distributed anti-epidemic supply kits, which include masks, rapid antigen tests, thermometers and traditional Chinese medicines, among others, to over 460,000 infected patients and their close contacts since February 21.
"The HKSAR government will speed up the distribution of anti-epidemic supply kits amid the surging number of infected patients since late February," said Sit.
The Home Affairs Department of the HKSAR government has set up a 24-hour telephone hotline in February, providing support to persons undergoing home quarantine under the "StayHomeSafe" Scheme.
The number of hotlines has been increased from 100 to 280, with 540 people handling more than 10,000 inquiries every day, said Jack Chan, acting secretary for home affairs of the HKSAR government, adding that they plan to increase the number of hotlines to 550 in the future.
The Hospital Authority has also set up 110 support hotlines and handled over 25,000 inquiries as of March 11, with plans to increase the number of support hotlines to 200 to respond to public demand.