Omicron Wave Prompts Hong Kong to Halt Its Hospitalization Policy

Omicron Wave Prompts Hong Kong to Halt Its Hospitalization Coverage

HONG KONG — The Hong Kong authorities mentioned on Sunday that it might start prioritizing hospital isolation area for kids, older folks and different severe instances as a wave of coronavirus infections has swamped well being care assets within the metropolis.

Hong Kong had beforehand required that each one Covid sufferers obtain hospital therapy. The town has now begun telling these with delicate instances to stay at dwelling, Larry Lee, the pinnacle of built-in scientific providers for the general public Hospital Authority, mentioned on Sunday.

Mr. Lee mentioned he didn’t know what number of contaminated folks may be caught at dwelling, however he estimated there have been “1000’s.”

“This isn’t a perfect resolution, however at this vital second we have to protect our restricted assets for sufferers who’re most in want,” he mentioned.

Hong Kong has pursued an aggressive strategy to stamping out the unfold of the coronavirus, and for lengthy stretches final yr it noticed solely single-digit each day will increase in new instances. However the unfold of Omicron has overwhelmed these defenses. Day by day case numbers are actually doubling each few days. On Sunday, well being officers introduced 1,347 confirmed new instances, and greater than 2,000 preliminarily optimistic instances.

The town recorded eight Covid deaths final week, the primary since September. Researchers on the College of Hong Kong have estimated that this wave may kill greater than 950 folks by mid-June underneath the present stage of social distancing restrictions. Over the previous two years Hong Kong has tallied simply 221 Covid deaths.

Final week, Hong Kong implemented its toughest social distancing measures to date, briefly closing salons and homes of worship, and including malls and grocery shops to an extended record of public locations that may require vaccination to enter.

On Saturday, Hong Kong officers met with a consultant of China’s central authorities within the mainland metropolis of Shenzhen. John Lee, Hong Kong’s chief secretary, mentioned afterward that there have been no instant plans to place Hong Kong underneath a lockdown that some mainland cities have enforced this yr to cease Omicron outbreaks.

Mr. Lee mentioned the assembly coated the necessity to ship mainland personnel to assist improve testing capability, however the particulars have but to be decided. In latest days some folks have waited for hours in lengthy traces to bear necessary testing orders.

Hong Kong has additionally skilled shortages of some greens which are imported from mainland China, the supply of greater than 90 p.c of the native meals provide, after some truck drivers examined optimistic. The authorities ordered a highway junction for mainland and Hong Kong drivers to be closed for disinfection on Friday, which the Hong Kong authorities mentioned would have an effect on the availability of greens and chilled poultry on Sunday.

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