Hospitals scramble for space as HK adds 3,629 cases

Officials on Friday said they are hoping to move all patients waiting outside accident and emergency departments inside within the day, as they announced 3,629 newly confirmed Covid cases and another 10 deaths.

A general manager with the Hospital Authority, Sara Ho, said they had been emptying staff rooms, outpatient clinics and even corridors in various hospitals in an effort to make space for more patients.

“As the temperature will be colder in the coming days, we are very worried about their health conditions. We will do our best to arrange all patients waiting outdoors to [be taken] indoors within today,” Ho told a press conference.

She did not reveal how many patients are stuck outside hospitals.

Ho said the government is also helping to identify suitable venues that can be turned into temporary waiting areas.

Ho added that various hospitals had been transferring Covid patients to other isolation or treatment facilities in order to admit more people.

Of the day’s 3,629 new confirmed Covid cases, all but two are local infections.

Ten Covid patients died in the past 24 hours, officials said.

The Centre for Health Protection’s Chuang Shuk-kwan noted that the number of confirmed cases is lower than the figure for preliminary infections reported on Thursday, saying there were some 4,800 specimens yet to be processed.

She also said that some private laboratories hadn’t sent them all of their samples for confirmation.

Friday brought around 7,600 preliminary positive cases.

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USEFUL LINKS
General Covid-19 situation: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/
Covid-19 testing: https://www.communitytest.gov.hk/en/
Compulsory testing notices: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/105294.html
Community Clinics for Covid-19 patients: https://bit.ly/3GXwDXJ
Vaccination programme: https://www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/en/
Hotline for Covid-positive patients: 1836 115