Hong Kong making up to 10,000 hotel rooms available for COVID-19 patients
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Wednesday said that up to 10,000 hotel rooms would be made available to COVID-19 patients as the city endures a surge in cases that has overwhelmed medical facilities.
The move comes as hospital beds are at 90 percent capacity and quarantine facilities are full, according to Reuters.
On Thursday, Hong Kong had 6,116 confirmed new cases, a daily record and a nearly 2,000 case increase from 4,285 cases on Wednesday. With 6,300 preliminary positive cases, the total case count since January exceeds 16,600, Reuters reported.
Authorities said new cases were up 60 times this month and added that testing would soon be required for all in the city next month.
“City-wide virus testing is a plan we are considering now,” Lam said to reporters, according to the news service.
Despite the record-setting numbers, Lam has said that the city “cannot surrender to the virus.”
As a result of the spike in cases, overflowing hospitals must house some patients in beds outside despite cool, sometimes rainy weather. Most public venues including schools, gyms and cinemas are closed, Reuters added.
Throughout the pandemic, Hong Kong has seen around 35,000 COVID-19 cases. While that is less than other cities of a similar size, some experts have predicted that Hong Kong’s daily cases could be around 28,000 before the end of next month, Reuters also noted.
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