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Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 18:40
HK residents give warm farewell to mainland support team
By Chen Zimo
Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 18:40 By Chen Zimo


HONG KONG - The mainland medical support team received a warm farewell from Hong Kong residents on Wednesday as they completed their mission to assist the city in its universal testing program.

A total of 579 mainland medical technicians arrived in Hong Kong in batches since Aug 2 to assist in the 14-day citywide free testing program that began on Sept 1

A total of 579 mainland medical technicians arrived in Hong Kong in batches since Aug 2 to assist in the 14-day citywide free testing program that began on Sept 1. More than 1.78 million nucleic acid tests were completed as the support team worked 24-hour shifts during the 14 days, helping the city detect 42 positive cases in the community. 

Local authorities said the program was “successful”.

ALSO READ: Lam hails joint efforts behind success of mass virus testing

Members of the mainland nucleic acid test support team pose with a banner gifted to them in appreciation of their efforts before leaving Wharney Guang Dong Hotel in Hong Kong, Sept 16, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

Around 7 am on Wednesday, a group of Hong Kong residents arrived at hotels in Kowloon and Wan Chai where the support team members had been staying. 

They waved Chinese national flags and the Hong Kong SAR flags as they thanked the team for their efforts. The mainland team members waved in response as they boarded shuttle buses heading back to the mainland. 

Members of the mainland nucleic acid test support team leave Wharney Guang Dong Hotel in Hong Kong, Sept 16, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

“What the team members have done demonstrated the great spirit of unity of our Chinese people and the profound family ties between the people of the mainland and Hong Kong,” said Apollo Wong Pak-leung, chairman of the Hong Kong Radiological Technologists’ Association. He visited a hotel to convey appreciation to the mainland team on behalf of his colleagues, most of whom were busy fighting on the front lines. 

READ MORE: Mainland experts work around the clock on HK virus tests

The universal community testing has greatly reduced the burden on the local public health care system, said Wong.

Members of the mainland nucleic acid test support team give a thumbs up before leaving Wharney Guang Dong Hotel in Hong Kong, Sept 16, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

The city managed to break the chains of transmission by putting a certain number of asymptomatic carriers under quarantine. This allow COVID-19 patients to receive prompt treatment at hospitals, giving them a higher chance of recovery. It benefits all people of Hong Kong, he added.

A 40-year-old local resident surnamed Sit, who works in the transportation sector, said he could not imagine any other country with such a strong and selfless medical team that is able to complete the testing 1.78 million samples in such an effective manner. 

As the outbreak abates, he expressed his hope that the Hong Kong community would make good use of this opportunity to revive the local economy.  

READ MORE: Experts: Mainland team's aid key to HK's future pandemic control

Hong Kong residents bid farewell to the mainland nucleic acid test support team at Wharney Guang Dong Hotel, in Hong Kong, Sept 16, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

A local real estate agent in her 30s, who identified herself as Kuk, expressed gratitude for the generous support and care from the motherland for the people of Hong Kong. The central government sent some of its best medical technicians to help Hong Kong in its hour of need, she said.

Kuk used her day-off to come to express her gratitude. She said the majority of Hong Kong people would wish to come in person to say “thank you” to their compatriots. 

Hong Kong residents bid farewell to the mainland nucleic acid test support team at Wharney Guang Dong Hotel, in Hong Kong, Sept 16, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

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