Sending masks to Hong Kong shows responsibility: experts

By Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/9 19:53:40

An employee of Chinese face mask maker Dasheng Health Products Manufacture Co works at the company's factory in Shanghai, East China on Friday. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Related authorities and producers in the mainland have allocated 17 million masks to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in the past month in a move that Chinese experts said indicated the central government was performing its responsibility and obligations to support the city in the battle against the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) despite a severe shortage of medical supplies on the mainland. 

The masks were sent to Hong Kong Hospital Authority and other related institutes, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a press conference on Sunday. 

The epidemic and medical shortages are more severe on the mainland than in Hong Kong, Lam said. "Despite this," the central government still supported Hong Kong, she said. 

Hong Kong has 12 million masks in stock, enough to last about a month, Lam noted.

Li Xiaobing, a Tianjin-based expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan studies at Nankai University, told the Global Times on Sunday that the central government has the legitimacy, responsibility and obligation to assist and seek  cooperation with Hong Kong amid the battle against the NCP. 

Li said the current work aims to tame the epidemic as soon as possible, which will benefit both Hong Kong and mainland residents. 

Hong Kong was no different than any other places in China, Li asserted, and all the political manipulation causing damage to epidemic control would be spurned.

On the contrary to people uniting firmly in the mainland with thousands of medical workers voluntarily to go to Wuhan, the frontier of the epidemic in Central China's Hubei Province, some people in Hong Kong are seeking to use the crisis to further split the region with the mainland.

As of Sunday, 37,288 confirmed novel coronavirus cases have been reported across China including 29 in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong medical staff went on strike on February 3 to pressure the regional government to close the city's border with the mainland and ban mainlanders from entering Hong Kong, claiming it is aimed to avoid the spread of the coronavirus

It was the first strike by medical staff in Hong Kong's history. It will definitely be a shameful one, analysts said, noting that they are ignominious slackers while the virus goes rampant." 

A strike was a political move aiming to isolate the mainland from the international community rather than in support of employees' health, Leung Chun-ying, a former Hong Kong chief executive, posted on Facebook on Friday. 

Some internet users questioned why a Hong Kong policeman donated 520 masks to medical staff in Wuhan that he bought through friends in South Korea. They asked why he did not save the masks for Hong Kong medical workers. 

But media reports said the policeman was donating another 6,000 masks purchased overseas to local hospitals.


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