As I mentioned recently at a press conference, with the support of the Central People’s Government, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is to construct a temporary hospital next to the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) and to set up an additional community treatment facility in the AWE to help meet the challenges brought by any future changes in the epidemic situation. The construction cost of these facilities will be fully borne by the Mainland. Here, I would like to express again my gratitude to the Central People’s Government, the Guangdong Provincial Government, and the Shenzhen Municipal Government for implementing these two projects. The construction team already started work on 19 September and is making pretty good progress. Most of the bed partitions and negative pressure enclosed cubicles have been properly set up at the additional community treatment facility in the AWE. We will proceed with the setting up of staff facilities, and the installation of electrical and mechanical equipment, plumbing and water pipes. The entire construction project is expected to be completed in about four weeks.
Making adequate preparation to cope with another wave of the epidemic
At present, there are about 900 beds in Hall 1 and Hall 2 of the AWE. The additional community treatment facility, located in Hall 8 to Hall 11, will provide a total of nearly 1 000 beds. The Chief Executive of the Hospital Authority (HA), Dr KO Pat-sing, Tony, says that the setting up of an additional community treatment facility and the construction of a temporary hospital will provide, among other things, better medical equipment such as negative pressure beds. Although nobody hopes for a new wave of the epidemic, we still have to be ready for a rainy day and make adequate preparation for all eventualities. He hopes that the project can be completed as soon as possible and believes that these facilities will give us more confidence to cope with another wave of the epidemic. In addition, they can also reduce the pressure on public hospitals significantly.
Intelligent disinfection gateways
Last Sunday (20 September), the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor CHAN Siu-chee, Sophia; Dr Tony KO; the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr LAM Sai-hung; the Director of Architectural Services, Mrs LAM YU Ka-wai, Sylvia; and I paid a visit to the AWE to inspect the work progress of setting up the additional community treatment facility. Before entering the AWE, we were required to fill in a health declaration form and walk through an intelligent disinfection gateway. All engineering staff currently working on the project, and future medical staff, patients and working staff will have to walk through the disinfection gateways to have their clothing and carry-on items cleaned and disinfected before entering the venue.
Challenges in the design of the air-conditioning system
The AWE was not originally designed as a treatment facility and the night-time operation mode of the air-conditioning units cannot support 24-hour air-conditioning. Therefore, it was a challenge for the construction team to figure out how to enhance the air-conditioning system to meet the needs of the additional community treatment facility. Having discussed with the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and the AWE, the team decided to install eight individual air-cooled chillers, two for each exhibition hall with a capacity of 200 tonnes and 100 tonnes respectively. Moreover, sufficient air filters should be added in the design of the air-conditioning system to enhance indoor ventilation and ensure an adequate supply of fresh air.
Setting up of negative pressure enclosed cubicles is almost complete
We also visited an indoor negative pressure enclosed cubicle on the same day. A representative of the contractor says that the entrances/exits of the enclosed cubicles have been installed with double doors to create buffer areas for stabilising the negative pressure inside the enclosed cubicles. Besides, each enclosed cubicle will be equipped with a Mobile Modular High Efficiency Particulate Air Filtering Unit to filter the air in the enclosed cubicle before venting it out. The contractor will conduct air leakage tests for the enclosed cubicles to ensure that the facility is in good condition and operates properly. A total of 40 negative pressure enclosed cubicles, each with a maximum of four beds, will be set up in the AWE, providing up to 160 negative pressure beds. At present, all negative pressure enclosed cubicles have been properly set up.
Advance work for the temporary hospital commenced
The temporary hospital to be built next to the AWE will adopt the Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) technology and is expected to complete within four months. Upon completion, the hospital will provide isolation wards with more than 800 beds and medical related facilities. The advance work is now underway at the project site. The contractor is also keeping close communication with the ArchSD, the HA and other government departments to ensure that the design and construction works comply with the statutory requirements and safety standards in Hong Kong. The fabrication of the MiC modules in the Mainland factories has already commenced.
To enhance Hong Kong’s ability to cope with sudden outbreaks of epidemic in the future, we need to enhance the community treatment facilities and build a temporary hospital. I would like to express heartfelt thanks to the Central People’s Government for supporting Hong Kong in fighting against the epidemic. Meanwhile, the Government will continue to take forward various anti-epidemic tasks. In my next blog, I will share the construction of the newly completed quarantine camp at Penny’s Bay (Phase II). With our concerted efforts, I deeply believe that Hong Kong will definitely win the battle against the epidemic.
27 September, 2020Back