Quarantine camps at Penny’s Bay Phase 2 completed
In the previous post of “My Blog”, I talked about an additional community treatment facility to be set up at the AsiaWorld-Expo and a temporary hospital to be built next to it with the support of the central government. This week, I will introduce the Government’s work in constructing additional quarantine facilities to enhance Hong Kong’s capability in combating the epidemic. Among them, the quarantine camps at Penny’s Bay Phase 2 have recently been completed. A colleague from the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) will share with us the features of the camps and how the team has completed the mission in the fastest manner.
Additional 2 000 quarantine units to be completed by the year end
Since the onset of the outbreak, the Government has constructed various quarantine camps within a short time through the use of the Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) technology to meet the needs of the anti-epidemic work.
Following the commissioning of the quarantine camps at Penny’s Bay Phase 1 (with 800 quarantine units) in mid-July, Phase 2 was also completed in mid-September, offering 700 quarantine units. Together with the quarantine camps constructed earlier at the Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village in Chai Wan, the Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre and the Junior Police Call Permanent Activity Centre in Pat Heung, more than 2 100 quarantine units have been built. At present, the construction of Phases 3 and 4 of the quarantine camps at Penny’s Bay has commenced and is making good progress. It is targeted to be completed by the end of this year to provide an extra 2 000 quarantine units. By then, there will be more than 4 000 quarantine units across the territory.
Learning from experience and racing with time
The ArchSD’s Senior Project Manager, Ms LI Pak-yee, Tuesday, says, during the construction of the quarantine camps at Penny’s Bay Phase 2, the advantages of MiC were fully leveraged to enable the production of the units in factories and the construction on site to be carried out simultaneously so that the project could be completed at the fastest speed. The team had also learnt from the experience of Phase 1 construction with better knowledge of the transport and construction procedures. Therefore, despite changes to the epidemic situation during construction, which resulted in the adoption of different clearance measures in different areas (for example, cross-boundary drivers were required to return on the same day), the contractor was still able to make adjustments swiftly and lift the transport constraints, such as by setting up additional storage/barging points somewhere between the mainland factories and the construction site in Hong Kong to provide more convenience to the drivers travelling between the two places.
According to Ms Tuesday LI, due to a tight schedule of the construction of the quarantine camps, it was necessary to communicate with project staff round the clock. However, with the spirit of fighting the epidemic, our colleagues, various government departments and the contractor were all willing to work together until late at night and well into the weekends, so as to complete the project on time or even ahead of schedule. As a result, the construction of the 700 quarantine units were successfully completed within 90 days, with 56 of them being assembled within as fast as one day.
Barrier-free units purposefully built
Moreover, the project team has also devoted much thought to the construction of the camps. For example, 14 barrier-free units with accessible toilets and shower facilities have been purposefully built at Phase 2 camps to facilitate wheelchair users in quarantine. The units are interconnected with the neighbouring units for the convenience of their relatives or caregivers to stay. Same as the Phase 1 quarantine camps, “dirty corridors” and “clean corridors” are set respectively between two rows of Phase 2 quarantine units to lower the risk of viral infection and transmission.
Furthermore, the project team has made good use of the site shape and inserted some open spaces between buildings for planting to create a green environment. Diverse super graphics and colours are applied on the building façades to enhance wayfinding and invigorate the camps. Soft cheering colours are also applied on the internal walls of the units in order to inject positive energy to relieve the emotions of the users.
To ensure that our epidemic prevention measures can sufficiently cope with another potential wave of the epidemic, the Government will remain vigilant to make good preparations including constructing more quarantine and treatment facilities to enhance the capability of combating the epidemic. Likewise, the anti-epidemic work requires all of us across the city to get involved and work together. I hope everyone will continue to be aware of epidemic prevention and observe personal and environmental hygiene at all times to reduce the risk of viral transmission.
4 October, 2020