Sophia Chan visits airport to inspect entry control measures
Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan on Monday (Sept. 13) visited Hong Kong International Airport to inspect various passenger and cargo traffic measures for reducing the risk of importing COVID-19 cases into the community.
Prof Chan first went to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre in the restricted area to view the workflow of test and hold procedures for inbound travellers under the Return2HK Scheme, including the arrangements for awaiting test results in the designated waiting area.
She then visited the passenger arrival hall to view the arrangements for inbound travellers to take designated transport arranged by the Government to designated quarantine hotels.
The health chief noted that although the local epidemic situation is stabilizing, the global pandemic situation is still under serious threat from mutant strains, especially the Delta variant.
She said it cannot be ruled out that other highly infectious mutant strains will emerge, posing a serious challenge to the prevention and control of the epidemic.
As such, the Government needs to step up anti-epidemic measures for inbound travelers from overseas through stringent border control measures together with a vaccine bubble as the basis with an aim of building a protective barrier.
During the visit, Prof Chan learnt from Department of Health Port Health Division, Customs and Immigration Department staff about their assistance provided to travelers in carrying out arrival quarantine procedures at the airport.
She thanked them for standing steadfast at their posts in the frontline of anti-epidemic work and providing assistance to travelers arriving in Hong Kong.
Prof Chan ended her tour with a visit to the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal where she was briefed by the Centre for Food Safety officers on how samples of imported frozen food are taken for virus testing.
As of September 12, more than 16,000 samples of various kinds of frozen foods and their packaging imported from different places have been taken for virus testing.
Prof Chan pointed out that the Government will adopt stringent border control measures with a view to preventing transmission of the virus in the community.
She reaffirmed that vaccination is the best measure and hope for Hong Kong and the rest of the world to recover from the pandemic and called on those yet to get vaccinated, especially senior citizens, chronic patients and other immunocompromised people to receive the jabs as soon as possible.