Fighting COVID-19 the Hong Kong way

Hong Kong shows creativity, vigilance and perseverance

Vapourised Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) Robots in trains. Credit: MTR

HONG KONG - Since the first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Hong Kong earlier this year, the city has seen its citizens, private businesses and public sector come together and work tirelessly around the clock to keep everyone as safe and everything functioning as smoothly as possible.

From small businesses taking extra precautions to public institutions setting the tone for the way forward, the city has continued to tick, allowing residents to interact responsibly with one another during this extraordinary time.

Safety in Technology
Hong Kong's public transportation system is easily one of the most efficient in the world. Leading the way is train service company MTR Corporation, which recently started to utilise an army of Vapourised Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) Robots to decontaminate its train carriages and stations.

High-contact station facilities, like ticket issuing machines, elevator buttons, and handrails are disinfected with bleach solution every two hours. Even the air conditioner filters on the trains are washed and replaced at more frequent intervals than before.

Intelligent Sterilisation Robots (ISRs) at Hong Kong International Airport. Credit: HKIA

At Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), Intelligent Sterilisation Robots (ISRs) have been deployed to sterilise germs and viruses using a combination of UV light technology, 360-degree spray nozzles, and air filters. These technologies were developed in Hong Kong, but the robots were previously used only in hospitals.

Riding Safe
Most taxi drivers these days are driving with face masks on as a courtesy to their passengers, and many taxis have bottles of hand sanitiser attached to the back of the driver's seat for riders to use at their convenience.

Double decker bus company, KMB, has started installing hand sanitiser dispensers on buses, and at various stations. KMB buses also provide floor mats sprinkled with bleach solution to conveniently help disinfect passengers' shoes as they step on board the bus.

Creative Solutions
Despite cancellations, many of the city's organisers have come up with a Plan B to allow guests to experience the joys of a physical or social gathering without large crowds.

Art Basel Hong Kong 2020 has swapped a physical exhibition for Online Viewing Rooms, showcasing more than 2,000 art pieces from 235 galleries from around the globe.

Art Central, another large-scale art fair, is taking sales online via a website that allows visitors to easily sort through more than 500 artworks by artist, exhibitor, size, price and medium.

Artistic Relief
Local performance space, Lau Bak Livehouse, in West Kowloon Cultural District has taken to shortening its opening hours and live-streaming events on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Asia Society Hong Kong has teamed up with The Hong Kong Art Gallery Association to put on a one-month Sculpture Exhibition, featuring art from international and local galleries and a full-day Art Talk Programme that is live-streamed on Facebook.

Homegrown community platform, ART Power HK, is hosting a series of thought-provoking events and conversations online.   

Knowledge is Power
On the health protection front, the Centre for Health Protection provides a comprehensive case-tracking news bulletin on its website to provide residents with the latest coronavirus news.

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