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Global Times

HK makeshift hospital put into use on Friday amid worsening coronavirus situation

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/24 15:23:40

A resort-converted community quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients, also known as the Hong Kong makeshift hospital, was put into use on Friday after the city reported a record number of confirmed cases in a single day on Thursday amid the region's third wave of coronavirus infections.

The temporary quarantine facility is located at Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village in Hong Kong's Chai Wan district. It will accommodate confirmed coronavirus patients who are in the process of recovery and in a stable condition so as to alleviate the demand of isolation beds in public hospitals, according to Hong Kong Hospital Authority.

The facility is equipped with over 300 rooms all with baths and toilets, with the preparation for the location having begun in as early as April.

"Community isolation facilities are one of the important contingency measures to allow public hospitals to focus on patients with more severe conditions," said a spokesperson of the Hospital Authority.

The occupancy of isolation beds in public hospitals is close to saturation following the rise of newly confirmed cases, especially the increase in the number of elderly and critically ill patients who often require a longer time in hospital to receive treatment, according to the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong reported a record of 118 new coronavirus cases in a single day on Thursday, including 111 local cases and seven imported cases, pushing the cumulative number of confirmed cases to 2,250.

According to Sing Tao Daily, Hong Kong plans to build another makeshift hospital in Asia World-Expo, which is expected to offer some 1,000 beds. The report said Hong Kong government has turned to the central government for help in offering medical equipment and hospital beds.

A quarantine and community treatment facility is under construction in the Asia World-Expo, and it was inspected by Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung on Thursday. Preparation for the first hall, which will have 100 beds, is almost complete; however, the second hall, with a capacity of around 200 beds, will be reserved for future expansion projects, according to the Hong Kong government.

The coronavirus situation in Hong Kong has worsened as infections in the past week climbed up.

From July 16 to 22, the city reported a total of 543 confirmed cases in one week, of which 481 were local cases, up from 265 confirmed cases the previous week, said Chui Tak-yi, deputy secretary of Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau in a briefing on Thursday.

Hong Kong rolled out more preventative measures on Thursday, including asking new arrivals from high-risk areas to provide their negative test results for COVID-19 before boarding planes to Hong Kong and hotel booking certificates for the use of the 14-day quarantine.

Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa will be listed as seven designated high-risk regions starting on Saturday. The designated regions will be expanded to include Kazakhstan and the United States from July 29.

Stanley Ng Chau-pei, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, proposed that the government should set up COVID-19 prevention and test centers in each district to provide nucleic acid testing services and coronavirus updates in a bid to ease panic in the region and timely detecting asymptomatic infections. The federation's online signature-gathering project in Kowloon showed that many residents appealed to the government to set up a COVID-19 center in the district.

According to Hong Kong media, Ng is scheduled to discuss his proposals with the Hong Kong government officials on Friday.

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