Hong Kong authorities have turned to mainland China to gather large amounts of necessary Covid-19 supplies, a minister has said, while donations from the private sector have poured in amid an escalating fifth wave of coronavirus infections. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah, who heads a government task force overseeing medical supplies, said on Friday that local authorities had sent a list of resources to the central government, including personal protective equipment (PPE), proprietary Chinese medicine and rapid antigen testing kits, which were all in high demand as the city ramped up its screening efforts. He said the city had received “staunch national support” to fight the pandemic. “For medical supplies that cannot be procured through our own efforts, or for large amounts, we will ask for help from the central government,” Yau said. A week ago, the mainland delivered 10 million rapid antigen test kits, 150,000 boxes of Chinese medicine and 25 million KN95 masks to the city in batches. Hong Kong reports close to 22,000 infections; ‘Two-thirds of Covid cases hidden’ Since Chinese President Xi Jinping told the Hong Kong government on February 16 that its “overriding mission” was to stabilise society and control the city’s worsening outbreak, the private sector and NGOs have stepped in by offering donations and various forms of help. Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s namesake foundation levelled up its commitment on Friday by adding HK$10 million (US$1.3 million) in donations, taking its total contributions to HK$50 million. The amount will be used to subsidise treatment at private hospitals for non-Covid-19 patients to free up space at overburdened public health facilities. Meanwhile, major developers offered sites to the government to build isolation and treatment facilities. They have contributed to eight locations for such purposes – Penny’s Bay on Lantau Island, a former runway area at Kai Tak, Tam Mei, San Tin and Hung Shui Kiu in Yuen Long, Tsing Yi, a Fanling plot, and land near the entrance of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, according to the Development Bureau. Sun Hung Kai Properties, one of Hong Kong’s largest real estate groups, has donated the most land for temporary mobile cabin hospitals. It offered two areas in Yuen Long, representing 70 per cent of the 17.5 hectares (43.2 acres) donated by private developers, according to deputy managing director Mike Wong Chik-wing. He said construction at the Tam Mei site would be complete in a month, while work at the San Tin plot – equally owned by Henderson Land Development – would be finished in three weeks. “If there is a need, depending on the Hong Kong and the central governments’ view, we are happy to consider offering more land in the future,” he said. New World Development offered a 3.5-hectare plot in Fanling to build a mobile cabin hospital, which a source said would provide at least 1,000 beds when construction was completed in two weeks. Hang Lung Properties donated HK$6 million to support the government’s construction of mobile cabin hospitals. Some hospitality firms and developers also provided resources to help the city’s vulnerable groups. Sun Hung Kai donated HK$15 million worth of anti-pandemic resources, such as rapid test kits to low-income essential workers, anti-pandemic kits to frontline staff and disinfecting robots to public hospitals. New World also provided 200,000 rapid tests to the underprivileged, as well as 700 hotel rooms for isolation purposes and 150 heaters for emergency rooms and outdoor testing stations. Sino Group donated 500 remote monitoring systems for residential care homes. Hong Kong receives first batch of supplies from mainland China to help fight outbreak Rosewood Hotel Group and Standard Chartered Bank also provided donations targeting women. Rosewood donated HK$500,000 to a helpline set up by an NGO assisting ethnic minority groups and women. The hotel firm will give away anti-pandemic packs to 600 single mothers, and 100 teenagers from low-income backgrounds will receive HK$5,000. Standard Chartered will donate HK$10 million to purchase 80,000 anti-pandemic kits, and provide 300 women with employment opportunities by hiring them to distribute these kits to vulnerable households.