COVID-19 INFECTIONS IN Hong Kong are unlikely to have peaked despite hitting another record today.
On February 28, city officials reported 34,466 new Covid-19 cases and 87 deaths, many of which were patients in care homes and unvaccinated.
The first of the temporary pre-fab emergency Covid isolation hospitals were due to open on Monday. Workers are being brought in from the mainland to help staff them.
To clear hospital beds, Hong Kong is already discharging patients who have tested positive for the virus and are in stable condition, instructing them to self-isolate at home. Electronic wristbands paired with a tracking app are reportedly issued to monitor compliance.
With Hong Kong’s morgues and overall health infrastructure at breaking point, China’s top Covid containment expert Liang Wannian has arrived in the city to advise on the fight against the virus. Containing the outbreak has become a matter of high concern in Beijing.
Local reports citing the National Health Commission also say that Beijing will draft some 9,000 people to the city to help with the compulsory testing that chief executive Carrie Lam has ordered. Rumours that this would be accompanied by a citywide lockdown, something that Hong Kong has so far avoided, triggered panic food buying on Monday with supermarket shelves being stripped bare.
Guangdong province, which can process up to 1.5 million tests a day, five times Hong Kong’s capacity, will assist with testing, despite dealing with a fresh outbreak of its own of some 50 cases in the Pearl River Delta industrial city of Dongguan.
Shenzhen, too, is seeing its outbreak worsening, with 30 new cases reported on February 28.