The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: Medical workers from mainland China arrived in Hong Kong to help combat the city’s worst COVID-19 outbreak to date. A Facebook post claims a video shows the mainland medical team sleeping on the floor at the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), one of the city’s two major convention and exhibition centers.
- The video actually shows mainland medical workers participating in anti-pandemic work at Wendeng Sports Hall in Weihai city of Shandong province in eastern China, not in Hong Kong.
- The quarantine and treatment facilities shown in the video are entirely different from those of the AsiaWorld-Expo, according to the videos of AWE’s official website.
- The Hospital Authority said that it had arranged door-to-door transport service between the hotel and the AsiaWorld-Expo for the mainland medical workers. Therefore, the medical workers rested in the hotel rather than the AsiaWorld-Expo.
- Our ruling: We rate the claim as FALSE.
A video was shared on Facebook on March 18, 2022, along with a claim saying that the video showed mainland pandemic workers sleeping on the floor at the AsiaWorld- Expo. The caption, written in traditional Chinese, translates as: “Don’t think the medical workers who came to Hong Kong to help fight the pandemic are staying in hotels. They don’t have comfortable beds and pillows. They are just sleeping on the floor at the AsiaWorld-Expo. We feel very touched and grateful! Hong Kong is in distress, but they are risking their lives, leaving behind family members and patients in the Mainland. They are such great benefactors for Hong Kong, and their kindness will never be forgotten!”.
As of the issuance of this report, the post had been shared 22 times, and it had received 53 comments and 167 likes or reactions.
A reverse image search found that the same video was shared March 13, 2022 and March 14, 2022 by the official Weibo accounts of the Weihai Municipal Government and the Kuiwei District Committee of Weifang city in Shandong province, respectively. The Chinese-language caption of the video shared by the Kuiwei District Committee translates as: “Facing a sudden new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Weihai city took rapid action. In the morning of March 12, the Health Bureau of Wendeng district in Weihai gathered over 1,000 medical workers in the district’s sports hall.” Therefore, the video shows the medical workers participating in anti-pandemic work in March 2022 at Wendeng Sports Hall in Wenhai, Shandong province, not in Hong Kong.
A press release published March 14, 2022 by the official WeChat account of the Wendeng District Education and Sports Bureau mentioned that temporary accommodation was built at Wendeng Sports Hall for over 300 medical workers. The photos attached to the press release and the video shared on Facebook were both taken at Wendeng Sports Hall, with the same banner and settings.
On the other hand, according to the videos (video 1, video 2) published by the AsiaWorld-Expo on its official website, the quarantine and treatment facilities of the convention center are totally different from those appearing in the video circulating on Facebook.
According to a news article published by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) on March 18, 2022, Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said that it had arranged door-to-door transport service between the hotel and the AsiaWorld-Expo for the mainland medical workers. Therefore, the medical workers should have rested in the hotel, and it is false to say that they were sleeping on the floor at the AsiaWorld-Expo.
Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
- Facebook, post, March 18, 2022.
- Weibo, post, March 13, 2022.
- Weibo, post, March 14, 2022.
- The WeChat official account of Wendeng Education and Sports Bureau, “The Party Branch of Sports Development Center: Together, Let’s fight the virus.” March 14, 2022.
- Asia World Expo, media center.
- Asia World Expo, “Race against time to build mobile cabin hospital.”
- Asia World Expo, “Hospital Authority Community Treatment Facility.”
- RTHK, “Mainland medical support team collaborating with the HA to enhance the capability of the community treatment at AsiaWorld-Expo,” March 18, 2022.