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About HKCFP > President’s Message

December 2020

The number of patients confirmed with COVID-19 has increased rapidly in recent weeks. In view of the severity of the epidemic situation, the launch date of the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) between Hong Kong and Singapore has been deferred and strict social distancing measures have been re-imposed to the level similar to those implemented in July. 

The presence of multiple clusters of local cases of unknown sources suggested that silent transmission chains are in the community. For better prevention and control of the disease, the government published in the Gazette the specifications under Cap. 599J on 27 November 2020 empowering registered medical practitioners with full or limited registration to issue the compulsory testing direction to require specified patient to undergo a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19 during 28 November 2020 to 11 December 2020 (14 days) initially. Persons who receive the direction should undergo a test within two days after the issue date of the written direction (the testing deadline). Failure to comply with the compulsory testing direction is an offence and will be liable to a fine and possible imprisonment. 

Also, in order to identify cases in the community as early as possible to help cut the transmission chains, five additional community testing centres are coming into operation. Together with the nine centres which have commenced service last month, there will be a total of 14 community testing centres across the city providing COVID-19 testing services for the public. Specimen collection services using combined nasal and throat swabs and COVID-19 testing are provided at these centres.

Amidst the surging number of confirmed COVID-19 patients during this 4th wave of cases, two more exhibition halls of Asia World-Expo have commenced operation to enhance the Community Treatment Facility (CTF) capacity providing an additional 500 beds. The expansion of isolation capacity at CTF to receive patients who are in relatively stable conditions and can take care of themselves independently would help alleviate the demand pressure for hospital beds. Recruitment of locum doctors by the Hospital Authority (HA) to support the operational needs at both hospitals and community facilities is ongoing. Members from our College are welcome to visit the website of Locum Office in HA at for more information regarding the Locum Doctor recruitment. Thanks for your continuing support.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Annual Conference - GP20 was held from 16 – 28 November 2020 using an online platform. I was honored to be invited to share with the conference delegates on the topic of “The role of Family Physicians in COVID-19: A Hong Kong perspective”. I gave an overview and update on our COVID-19 journey in Hong Kong starting from the beginning of the pandemic with emphases on what our local family doctors have been actively contributing towards the ongoing fight against the virus. Salute to all family doctors in Hong Kong once again!

During GP20, I was also invited to participate in a Global Presidential Roundtable which aimed at providing collegiality by facilitating GP leaders all over the world to meet and discuss the challenges in providing CME, focusing on the key drivers for strengthening international partnerships and collaborations, and possible models to strengthen partnerships. The GP leadership participants included Prof. Ayman Shenouda (RACGP, Acting President), Prof. Karen Price (RACGP, President Elect), Dr. Tess Van Duuren (RACGP, Censor In Chief), Dr. Matthew Miles (RACGP, Chief Executive Officer), Dr. Mark Miller (RACGP International Chairman), Prof. Michael Kidd (Australian Government Department of Health Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Principal Medical Advisor) on behalf of Prof. Donald Li (President of WONCA), Prof. Amanda Howe (RCGP, President), Dr. Samantha Murton (RNZCGP, President), Dr. Catherine Cervin (CFPC, President), Adj Asst Prof. Tze Lee Tan (CFPS, President), Dr. Wee Eng Chye (AFPM, President), Dr. Mohammad Husni Jamal (AFPM, Past President), just to name a few.

We have gone through a very unique 2020, a year like no other. As a fresh new year is around the corner, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and Happy New Year ahead!

Please keep well and stay safe.

Dr. David V K CHAO