Caritas to move outdoor Covid patients in: sources

RTHK on Friday learnt that the Caritas Medical Centre will be using its general out-patient clinic area to house some Covid-19 patients waiting for treatment.

The news came after patients had to wait outdoors for long hours at several hospitals before they received treatment.

It is understood Caritas, in Cheung Sha Wan, will let coronavirus patients wait for consultation at its general out-patient clinic area after the clinic closes on Friday, while the clinic’s services will be moved to the specialist clinic for the time being.

As the outbreak continues to rage, four public hospitals – including the Caritas Medical Centre – have reached a higher than 100 percent occupancy rate in their medicine wards.

Beds and tents have filled open areas of hospitals for coronavirus patients waiting for admission.

The Hospital Authority had said it’s considering different ways to help hospitals overflowing with patients.

Meanwhile, an infectious disease expert called on hospitals to move Covid patients indoors as soon as possible, saying their conditions may worsen as the weather is expected to get cold over the weekend.

“The target should be handling patients stranded outdoors – many of them elderly – in 24 hours, to move them to indoor places. It’s unacceptable they are staying outdoors,” Ho Pak-leung told a Commercial Radio programme.

The University of Hong Kong microbiologist said hospitals can move patients to lobbies and corridors, and free up beds by transferring suitable patients to second-tier or community treatment facilities.

Ho said the authorities can also try to enlist the help of private hospitals, and transfer non-Covid patients to such institutions in order to relieve pressure on the public healthcare system.