Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the “onset” of Covid-19 infection had dealt a heavy blow and stagnated the ability to deal with the virus as daily cases rose to record levels.
Daily infections have multiplied 13 times over the past two weeks, from about 100 cases at the beginning of February to more than 1,300 cases on February 13, as authorities scramble to control the outbreak.
On Monday, Lam said her government would coordinate with Chinese officials to tackle the “worsening situation” after China said it would help the city with testing, treatment and quarantine.
“The attack of the fifth wave of the epidemic dealt a severe blow to Hong Kong and overwhelmed the city’s ability to deal with it,” she added.
“The situation is very undesirable and the government is concerned and sorry about it.”
It said its top officials will coordinate with the central government to boost testing and isolation facilities in Hong Kong, securing resources from rapid antigen kits and protective equipment to fresh vegetables.
The Chinese territory recorded 1,347 new infections on Sunday, down from the record set on Saturday, but the spread with another 2,000 suspected cases threatens the overwhelmed health care system, authorities said.
Medical experts warn the city could see 28,000 daily infections by the end of March, with unvaccinated elderly people particularly concerned.
Data from the city’s Hospital Authority showed that hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in the global financial center are already 90% occupied, while isolation facilities are also close to full capacity.
Larry Lee, senior director at the city’s Hospital Authority, said Hong Kong is prioritizing the elderly, children and those in critical conditions in hospitals.
Lam said authorities would “spare no effort” to implement the “dynamic zero” strategy of coronavirus infection in Hong Kong, which, like mainland China, seeks to curb the outbreak as soon as it occurs, unlike many other places that are trying to survive. with covid.
Hong Kong has recorded about 24,000 infections and more than 200 deaths, less than other similar major cities.
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