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HomeWorldHong Kong leader says fifth wave of COVID has 'overwhelmed' city capacity

Hong Kong leader says fifth wave of COVID has ‘overwhelmed’ city capacity

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HONG KONG (February 14) (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s leader said on Monday that Hong Kong is mired in an “attack” of COVID-19 infections, although deaths in the Chinese-controlled global financial hub are still well below cities of size. similar since World War II. The epidemic broke out two years ago.

Daily infections have multiplied 13 times over the past two weeks, from about 100 cases at the beginning of February to more than 1,300 cases on February 13, as authorities struggle to control the outbreak.

With the number of cases rising, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam issued a statement on Monday saying her administration would coordinate with Chinese officials to address the “aggravating situation”.

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China said it would help the city with testing, treatment and quarantine, and secure resources from rapid antigen kits and protective equipment to fresh vegetables.

TVB, citing an unidentified source, said the city is scheduled to record at least 1,530 cases of COVID-19 on Monday. It will be a new record for daily issues.

“The onslaught of the fifth wave of the epidemic dealt a heavy blow to Hong Kong and overwhelmed the city’s ability to deal with it,” she said, adding that patients had to wait longer to reach isolation facilities.

“The situation is very undesirable and the government is concerned and sorry about it,” she said.

With the healthcare system already depleted, medical experts warn the city could see 28,000 daily infections by the end of March, with unvaccinated seniors particularly concerned. Read more

Data from the city’s Hospital Authority showed that hospital beds for COVID-19 patients are already 90% occupied, while isolation facilities are close to full capacity. Read more

Larry Lee, senior director at the city’s Hospital Authority, said Hong Kong is prioritizing the elderly, children and those in critical conditions in hospitals.

Despite the warning about the latest wave of the epidemic, the total number of cases in Hong Kong since the epidemic first broke out has been about 24,000 infections, including more than 200 deaths, less than many other similar major cities.

Lam said authorities would “spare no effort” to implement a “dynamic zero” coronavirus infection strategy in Hong Kong, which, like mainland China, seeks to curb the outbreak as soon as it occurs, unlike many other places that are trying to survive. with COVID.

Within the city, residents are prohibited from public gatherings of more than two people while most places including schools, churches and gyms are closed. Dining in restaurants is prohibited from 6pm local time and most people work from home.

Strict flight restrictions have turned Hong Kong into one of the world’s most isolated major cities with its borders virtually closed for nearly two years.

The city’s legislature is set to discuss injecting HK$27 billion ($3.46 billion) into an anti-epidemic fund to support businesses and individuals affected by the city’s strict social distancing measures, the government said in a statement.

(1 dollar = 7.8006 Hong Kong dollars)

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Additional reporting by Farah Master, Tweeny Siew and Marius Zaharia; Editing by Jerry Doyle and Simon Cameron Moore

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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