Carrie Lam met up with media reporters this morning and she addressed the mysterious pneumonia in China in her opening statement. The government has already adopted responsive and transparent precautionary measures since last week to contain the spreading of the virus. Carrie Lam said that the University of Hong Kong laboratory has been efficient in detecting this new strain of virus through the long-term constructive mechanism to obtain effective gene sequencing. According to information from the NHC, the Mainland’s expert group has preliminarily determined that the pathogen of the cluster of viral pneumonia cases occurring in Wuhan is a kind of novel coronavirus.
The Hong Kong Government has sent representatives to Wuhan to inspect the local situation. The delegation will return to Hong Kong tonight, and an expert meeting will be held shortly thereafter before a briefing is conducted for the public. Also, relevant government departments have been entrusted to strengthen prevention and control of viral influenza as it is expected that a large number of tourists will come to Hong Kong during the Lunar New Year. Carrie Lam urged the public to take extra care of their personal hygiene during this viral flu season.
Meanwhile, IPCC has just recently completed the first phase of their report, which contains a number of shortcomings in the police force, including the lack of communication between frontline commanders during the 12th June clash and unfamiliarity with the use of tear gas. Carrie Lam reiterated that IPCC is an independent statutory body in response to the question as to whether an independent inquiry commission would be established. The IPCC report would be handed personally to her to conduct further studies.
Carrie Lam also welcomes Hong Kong judiciary’s recent setting up of a special task force to handle an increased number of protest-related cases. Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma spoke during the ceremonial opening of the legal year yesterday that judges may sit for long hours to handle the heavy caseload.