Health authorities in Hong Kong reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 infections of 1,325 on Friday as authorities try to contain an outbreak, which medical experts warn could reach 30,000 daily cases by the end of March, with the unvaccinated elderly a particular worry.
China said it would fully support the city with its “dynamic zero” coronavirus strategy as local authorities struggle to control a deepening outbreak.
Hong Kong Chief Secretary John Lee, Health Secretary Sophia Chan, and Security Chief Chris Tang would meet Chinese officials in Shenzhen on Saturday to discuss support measures, the government said in a statement.
The meeting comes as Hong Kong’s pursuit of zero COVID-19 infections has stretched hospital and quarantine facilities nearly to their limit, raising the near-term prospect of changes to admissions and isolation policies.
“Our healthcare system is overloaded, it’s really beyond capacity,” Chuang Shuk-kwan, a senior health official, said.
Hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in the global financial hub were already at 90 percent occupancy, while isolation facilities were also nearing their maximum.
According to reports, China would be sending thousands of medical and lab workers and millions of test kits to Hong Kong, with the daily coronavirus screening capacity to be increased from 100,000 tests to 300,000 tests.
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