Hong Kong suspends some hospital services as coronavirus cases swell

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – Hong Kong suspended some non-emergency services in public hospitals as a surge in Covid-19 patients strains the healthcare system, with authorities warning the city’s virus situation continues to deteriorate.

Some public hospitals have started to reduce non-urgent procedures including endoscopies and elective surgeries in order to shift resources to caring for the rising number of Covid patients, Hospital Authority Chief Manager Sara Ho said at a briefing on Tuesday (July 12).

If the situation continues to worsen, more non-urgent operations and some day-time services will need to be adjusted too, she said.

Hong Kong is facing a virus resurgence that’s pushed the number of patients in public hospitals to about 1,000.

Health officials have warned that the daily number of infections could climb to as much as 6,000 in two weeks, from 2,558 new local cases reported on Tuesday, with 300 people hospitalised each day.

“These measures are to mobilise both the manpower and beds so as to accommodate and anticipate the upsurge of pandemic patients,” Ms Ho said.

The warning of a surge in cases comes alongside changes from the new administration to the financial hub’s virus strategies.

The government is considering introducing a health code system that would bring the city more in line with zero-Covid measures used in China, which prioritises stamping out infection at great social and economic cost.

It’s also working on launching tracking bracelets for Covid patients isolating at home to ensure they don’t leave their premises.

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