Hong Kong shortens quarantine for care homes as Covid-19 infections set to double

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – Hong Kong will shorten the quarantine period for residents and staff of residential care homes for the elderly and those with disabilities because isolation beds will run out in days, the city’s welfare secretary said on his blog on Sunday (Feb 13).

The quarantine period for home care residents and staff has been cut to seven days from two weeks if their test results are negative for Covid-19, according to Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong.

Under current rules, they are kept in isolation at the government’s Asia World Expo quarantine facility.

The quarantine changes come as the city contends with a record surge in Covid-19 infections that saw Hong Kong register 1,514 cases on Saturday and threaten its “dynamic zero” strategy.

Hong Kong health authorities are expected to report around 3,000 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, a record for daily infections, broadcaster TVB said, citing an unidentified source.

With isolation facilities filling up amid the worsening outbreak, the territory’s government has asked mainland China for help to build quarantine facilities, more test kits and expert help to analyse virus strains.

The city plans to double the number of quarantine beds for home care residents to 640 from 320, according to Mr Law.

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