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Chunyang Sampling Team: It's Worth the Effort

  • Front row from left: Leung Ming, Chief Nursing Officer, HA; Tang Wah-kan, Principal Nursing Officer, HA; back row from left: Tse Yee Fung, Nurse, Choi Sze Ki, Nurse, Queen Mary Hospital; Chung Chi Kei, Nurse, Queen Elizabeth Hospital; Cheung Yuk Lam, Phlebotomist, Tuen Mun Hospital; Leung Chun Kit, Nurse, The Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital at Tai Hau Wan.


    Early this month, four chartered flights were operated by the Government to bring back to Hong Kong 469 Hong Kong residents stranded in Hubei, who were immediately placed under isolation in Chun Yeung Estate. During the 14-day isolation period, they underwent four blood tests and two nasopharyngeal specimen tests. HA recruited 32 nurses and phlebotomists from seven clusters to join the "Sampling Team" on a voluntary basis and collected over 2,600 samples. Choi Sze Ki, a registered nurse from the Surgical Ward of PWH who participated in the sampling programme, said that the hardest part of the process was putting on the protective jacket under the hot and stuffy weather, and "she was soaked to the skin when she took off the jacket", and she had never worn an N95 mask for such a long period of time before. Even though the process was hard, she felt it was worth the effort and was happy to help the Hong Kong people stranded in Hubei.


    Happy to help Hong Kong people stranded in Hubei


    The Chief Nursing Officer of HA, Mr Tang Wah-kan, said that the current approach of early isolation, early diagnosis and early treatment is to ensure that Hong Kong people returning to Hong Kong from Hubei return to the community in good health, and that all of them will have their samples taken six times during the isolation period. He pointed out that as there were women and children among the returnees, the composition of the "sampling team" included both men and women.


    Mr Leung Chun-kit, an enrolled nurse at the Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital in Tai Hau Wan, said that some children were worried about strangers wearing protective clothing and were reluctant to have their blood taken, so a team member, who is now a father, offered to give them stickers, which was supported by the HA, which took on board the idea and used the stickers to encourage the children.


    HA set up a buddy programme for the project, where one person puts on the protective jacket while the other checks for problems. He said that the team members supported each other and understood once again that there should be no negligence in catching infections. He said he would volunteer for a similar programme if it came up. Tse Yee Fung, a senior nurse at Queen Mary Hospital, said that some Hong Kong people were very enthusiastic, and she was told to write down her phone number so that she would be entertained when she arrived in Wuhan.


    Leung Ming, Chief Nursing Officer of HA, revealed that she had sought colleagues to join the team voluntarily within a short period of time. Colleagues enthusiastically raised their hands to participate in the team, while Yuen Kwok Yung, Chair Professor of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong, and David Colbert, Chief Executive Officer of HA, had also come to the scene one after another to support them and inspect the work. Tang Wah-kan disclosed that as Chun Yeung Estate is not a hospital, it does not have the ventilation design of a hospital, so it uses natural air convection method, and the opposite flats do not have people living in them, so they open the doors to form a ventilation, to avoid infections due to lack of air circulation. Reporter Wong Sze Wing