Amidst the severe fifth wave of the pandemic, the number of infections in Hong Kong continues to rise. New World Development ("the Group") today announced that it would offer frontline Hospital Authority staff nearly 100 hotel rooms at The Hyatt Regency Hong Kong in Sha Tin, a subsidiary of the Group, as free accommodation, in the hopes of offering support and thanking them for their unwavering services in this difficult time.
The Group has also stepped up its anti-pandemic measures to further support the community, including the donation of 100,000 additional rapid antigen testing kits to the underprivileged, as well as 3,000 oximeters to residential care homes for the elderly via the "Hong Kong Community Anti-Coronavirus Link". It is also providing emergency supplies to the cabin hospital facilities in Tsing Yi to provide all-round support to those in need.
Adrian Cheng, CEO of New World Development, said, "We have entered the most critical moment in the fight against the pandemic. The fifth wave has caused a sharp increase in confirmed cases, burdening not only frontline medical staff who are offering round-the-clock care to patients, but also their family. I hope that medical staff who stay in the hotel can rest well and recharge for the battle ahead, and I want to sincerely thank them all for their selfless service."
The Hospital Authority expressed its heartfelt thanks to the Group for the generous offer of free hotel rooms to their medical staff, and for donating heaters during the cold weather in February this year. Henry Fan Hung-ling, Chairman of the Authority, said, "We are very grateful to New World Development for this act of kindness, boosting the morale of our staff during this difficult time and recognising the effort of frontline medical staff in this critical moment. Thank you again to New World Development."
Donating emergency supplies to mobile cabin hospital in Tsing Yi
In order to alleviate the pressure of the overwhelmed public healthcare system, in February this year, the Group loaned a 3.5-hectare plot of land in Fanling to the Government for the construction of a mobile cabin hospital, and offered the Pentahotel Hong Kong in Kowloon as a community isolation facility. The Group also took the lead in sending a volunteer team to support the community's anti-pandemic work with the "Hong Kong Community Anti-Coronavirus Link" and "Hong Kong Volunteers Federation".
In addition to distributing 300,000 sets of rapid antigen testing kits and over 20 million face masks to the underprivileged for free, the Group has also donated 70,000 sets of protective clothing and more than 13,000 oximeters to medical staff, cleaners, staff of residential care homes for the elderly and Covid-19 patients. When the cold snaps hit Hong Kong earlier this winter, the Group urgently arranged 200 large heaters to warm people waiting in queues at public hospitals, sampling stations in enclosed housing estates, and testing and vaccination centres. Recently, the Group has also cooperated with a number of non-profit organisations to donate more than 10,000 cellular SIM cards to students from grassroots families and the elderly who live alone, to assist in their at-home studies and to maintain contact with social workers and families.
Gleneagles Hospital offers outpatient services to patients with mild symptoms
Further to the above measures, FTLife, a member of New World Development, is offering "Free COVID-19 Infection Benefit" and "Free Additional Hospital Cash Benefit for COVID-19 Vaccination" to 800 taxi drivers and mini bus drivers in the designated “anti-epidemic” fleet. To relieve pressure on the public healthcare system, Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong, a subsidiary of New World Development, is launching a series of measures, which include freeing up 50 beds for patients referred by public hospitals. Currently, over 100 patients from public hospital have been referred to Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong for medical treatment. Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong also provides outpatient services to patients with mild symptoms of Covid-19, and will support the Government in establishing a respite centre as well as providing medical services to the elderly who are recovering from Covid-19 or are suitable for discharge from hospital care. To assist infected patients who are quarantined at home as well as other citizens with medical needs, Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong launched a free teleconsultation service this month, alongside an initiative for doctors to provide professional medical services to citizens who are staying at home.
The Group will continue to pay close attention to the community's anti-pandemic needs, pull out all the stops in providing the most appropriate support and care to citizens in need, in order to fight against the pandemic together with the public.