PolyU members have been demonstrating their care by supporting the Hong Kong community’s collaborative efforts in battling the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the current fifth wave of the outbreak.


Hundreds of students, alumni and staff with a professional healthcare background have signed up to support the front line in the fight against the pandemic: from working for community vaccination and testing programmes, to taking care of the elderly and persons with disabilities at holding centres and residential care homes.


The University is also committed to supporting the Government’s anti-epidemic efforts on various fronts. A new pop-up community vaccination centre on Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay, operated by PolyU in a non-profit-making capacity, will start to serve the public from 29 March onwards. The pop-up centre will contribute to the Government’s goals in boosting vaccination rates among children and the elderly, as well as promoting the second dose vaccination rate in the whole population.


Earlier in the month, PolyU set up a new call centre on campus to support the Hospital Authority’s hotline and meet the huge demand for advice and assistance from COVID-19 patients. The hotline outpost supported initially 10 hotlines and handled nearly 600 calls daily. Our researchers have also brought PolyU’s expertise on whole-genome sequencing research to the Princess Margaret Hospital’s medical laboratory to strengthen its testing capabilities.


PolyU staff, students and alumni, meanwhile, have teamed up with various members and organisations in the community in the joint fight against the pandemic.


Some of them have connected with enthusiastic donors in Hong Kong and Mainland China to distribute COVID-19 supplies like rapid testing kits and personal protective equipment to nursing home residents and staff. Others joined volunteer groups to help disburse anti-pandemic supplies to people in need, or handed out PolyU-developed washable and antiviral masks to grassroots families and ethnic minorities.


Furthermore, the University has been conducting multi-disciplinary research projects on COVID-19 to help strengthen community-level protection against the coronavirus and enhance recovery. More recent projects include the design of a physical training programme to aid post-COVID-19 recovery, the development of novel 3D printing material that can terminate the coronavirus on a surface within minutes, researching the impact on children’s eyesight during the suspension of face-to-face classes, and the study of the spatiotemporal spread of the Omicron variant in Hong Kong communities at the onset of the fifth wave outbreak.


In all of the above ways, members of the PolyU community have been living up to our motto of “To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind”.