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Race to setup coronavirus screening centre near HK airport pays off,easing burden on public hospital

Dr Vincent Cheng Chi-chung recalls the exact moment he received the Health Authority text message on his mobile phone, at 7.45pm on March 18.

The infection control officer was among about 100 health care personnel and other staff called up to perform what seemed to be a “mission impossible” – they had less than 48 hours to convert a 60,000 sq ft exhibition hall at the AsiaWorld-Expo into a temporary testing facility for Covid-19.

The temporary centre was needed to screen all travellers from overseas who arrived with symptoms at the nearby Hong Kong International Airport.

At the time the city was recording dozens of new Covid-19 cases daily, and bracing itself for a surge in imported and community infections.

“The situation was a bit serious, with many inbound travellers with symptoms held up at the airport waiting to be tested,” said Larry Lee Lap-yip, the Health Authority’s deputy hospital chief executive. Read More

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