Beijing, 16 February 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged that “all necessary measures” be taken to fight a serious coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong.
The leadership in Beijing would come to the aid of the special administrative region, pro-Beijing newspapers in Hong Kong quoted Xi as saying on Wednesday.
China’s Vice Premier Han Zheng, at the head of the party’s internal leadership group for Hong Kong, is to coordinate the support effort.
After two years of largely successful preventative measures, the number of new infections in the city of seven million is reaching record levels every day.
Despite a strict zero-Covid policy, there were more than 1,600 deaths on Tuesday. A three-year-old girl and a 100-year-old woman were among those who died.
In remarks carried by the Wen Wei Po newspaper, Xi stressed that the government of the Hong Kong special administrative region “should mobilize all available forces and resources and take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of the people of Hong Kong and the general stability of Hong Kong society.”
He added that relevant departments of China’s central government and local authorities should fully support and help the Hong Kong regional government “do a good job in preventing and combating the epidemic.”
The newspaper is considered a mouthpiece of the communist leadership.
According to media reports, Hong Kong has asked for an expansion of testing capacities as well as for medical equipment and support in building temporary isolation and treatment facilities.
The central government has also been asked to ensure the supply of food and everyday goods to the Hong Kong special administrative region.