COVID-19 hit Hong Kong again; daily cases on rises

 Monday, February 14, 2022 


Hong Kong is being overwhelmed by the “onslaught” of Covid-19 infections, its leader Carrie Lam said on Monday, as daily cases in the Chinese controlled territory hit record highs. The daily infections have multiplied 13 times over the past two weeks, from about 100 cases at the start of February to over 2,070 on 14 February, with authorities scrambling to control the deepening outbreak. As the caseload soared, Ms Lam issued a statement on Monday saying her administration would coordinate with Chinese officials to tackle the “aggravating situation”. China has said it would help the city with testing, treatment and quarantine, and secure resources from rapid antigen kits and protective gear to fresh vegetables.

Ms Lam said, adding patients they having to wait longer to access isolation facilities said that the onslaught of the fifth wave of the epidemic has dealt a heavy blow to Hong Kong and overwhelmed the city’s capacity of handling.

The situation is highly undesirable and the government feels worried and sorry about it,” she said.  With the healthcare system already overstretched, medical experts warn the city could see 28,000 daily infections by the end of March, with the unvaccinated elderly a particular worry. Hospital beds for Covid patients are already at 90 per cent occupancy, data from the city’s Hospital Authority showed, while isolation facilities are near full capacity. Hong Kong is prioritising elderly, children and those in serious conditions in hospitals, said Larry Lee, chief manager at the city’s Hospital Authority.

For all the alarm over the latest wave of the pandemic, Hong Kong‘s total caseload since the pandemic first erupted was around 24,000 infections, including more than 200 deaths, less than many other similar major cities.

The city’s Legislative Council is due to discuss the injection of HK$27 billion ($3.46 billion) into an anti-epidemic fund to support businesses and individuals affected by the city’s stringent social distancing measures, the government said in a statement.

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