Hong Kong’s Fire Services Department will form a contingency team to provide support at local quarantine facilities as part of the city’s effort to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

The department told HKFP that five firefighters will form a “Rapid Response Team” at each centre, who will be on standby in case of a fire or other emergencies. The teams will also inspect public areas at the quarantine sites for fire prevention purposes, but they will not look after those in isolation.

File photo: GovHK.

“The department will provide sufficient and appropriate protective equipment to members of the teams… their health condition will be closely monitored as well,” the department said.

Fire stations near the quarantine sites will provide logistical support, such as providing facilities for the contingency teams to get changed and cleaned up.

File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Last month, protesters threw petrol bombs at an empty public housing complex in Fanling that had been earmarked to become a temporary quarantine zone. Local residents had complained that it was too close to the population centre.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Wednesday that all travellers entering Hong Kong from China will be put in 14 days of mandatory quarantine. The announcement came one day after the first local infection case was confirmed, and the measure will take effect on Saturday.

As of Friday morning, there were 24 confirmed cases of the SARS-like virus in Hong Kong and more than 31,400 others around the world. The global death toll has surpassed 630.

Kelly Ho

Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.