The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government will continue to leverage the advantages of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the prevention and control of COVID-19 and consolidate TCM as an integral part of the city's medical system, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Saturday.
Lam visited Hong Kong Baptist University's Chinese Medicine Telemedicine Center Against COVID-19 and learned about an online consultation service for COVID-19 patients launched by the university's TCM team last month.
The service has provided free online advisory and consultation services, as well as TCM delivery services, for people undergoing home isolation or quarantine, benefiting more than 10,000 people so far.
"Due to the severity of the fifth wave of the epidemic and the highly transmissible Omicron variant, hundreds of thousands of people have been infected," Lam said. "I'm pleased to see that treatment and disease prevention with the use of Chinese medicine has been given full play against the epidemic."
With the support of the HKSAR Government, Hong Kong's Hospital Authority has been promoting anti-epidemic TCM treatment through various means, including providing TCM rehabilitation services for discharged patients and offering TCM treatment for in-patients.
Lam said the HKSAR Government will continue to further leverage the advantages of TCM in preventing and controlling the pandemic and consolidating TCM as an integral part of Hong Kong's medical system.
At her daily press conference on the latest pandemic situation in Hong Kong on Saturday, Lam said it's still uncertain whether the fifth wave of COVID-19 infections in the city has peaked although there has been no exponential growth in infections in the past few days.
Hong Kong reported more than 60,000 cases during the past weekend - 27,647 on Saturday and 32,430 on Sunday. More than half of the new cases were detected through rapid antigen tests.
"The online portal for positive rapid antigen test results has just started in the past two to three days. We need to monitor the number of reported cases for a period of time, so we can't say for sure whether the pandemic has reached or not," said Lam.
She said the SAR government will plan its strategy to curb the pandemic based on different scenarios in the next few weeks. "If the situation deteriorates, we'll strengthen our virus testing capacity and build up community isolation facilities. If the situation improves, we'll provide the roadmap for reopening closed public and business establishments, reopening schools and easing travel control with the Chinese mainland."
The chief executive noted the central government has been helping Hong Kong by providing medical supplies. Hong Kong has submitted a list of what it needs, including hospital beds, air purifiers, masks, and rapid antigen test kits, to the relevant ministries on the mainland.