The government says parts of the Kai Tak cruise terminal will be turned into an isolation and holding centre for elderly Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms.
Labour and welfare chief Law Chi-kwong said on Friday that it will also house those who have recovered but cannot return home or to residential care homes yet.
He made the remarks after he received 1,200 hospital beds donated by mainland companies.
“This facility is important because it can alleviate the pressure on Hospital Authority beds, so hospitals can focus on patients with a higher risk or in a more serious condition,” he told reporters.
“This can also reduce the pressure of care homes.”
The centre, managed by the Social Welfare Department, will be set up on the ground floor and the two check-in halls on the second floor of the terminal.
Law said he hopes the first batch of carers hired from mainland will arrive this week, but did not say how many of them there will be.
He added the authorities are trying to recruit more staff both from the mainland and locally.
“Local residents are welcome, even if they just want to help out for a few months,” he said.
The minister said the centre in Kai Tak will be the third facility for elderly Covid patients, and they are planning to set up seven more.
Meanwhile, Law dismissed concerns from experts that it may be too late to get the elderly jabbed now, saying the administration is still trying to vaccinate elderly in care homes as quickly as possible.