Hong Kong President Carrie Lam said Wednesday that reducing the death toll from the latest meningitis outbreak is a priority for the city, with a plan to test the entire population of the region as part of a new government initiative.
Lam said there was no specific timeline for the city test, two weeks later she announced will happen this month. Her previous announcement, coupled with rumors of a city lockdown, has left retail stores as residents collect everyday items.
“The issue now is that plans and programs are still in progress, but it is not something that should be done (experimental), the timing of it will be a public decision. , and expert opinions will be taken into account, ”Lam said.
“If we are going to do it right, we have to tell people that until you get a negative result, you can’t go out.”
The city of 7.4 million people is in the throes of an omicron outbreak that has engulfed hospitals and dormitories with reduced hours or closed restaurants and other shops in the daily financial center.
More than 500,000 diseases and more than 2,600 deaths have been recorded since the onset of the fifth wave in late December, with most of the victims among the elderly being unvaccinated.
The government is focusing on reducing the number of deaths and infections, as well as the rapid spread of the disease, Lam said at a joint news conference with senior officials with the theme “Fighting the Epidemic with National Aid”. in the past.
Any test to be performed in the city will depend on the nature of the disease, she said. “If we are going to do that … we will definitely announce as soon as possible so that people can come in and predict what will happen then.”
To reduce the death toll, patients infected with the virus will be treated in the center, with Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the city becoming a dedicated hospital for COVID-19, she said. Some 1,500 beds will be set aside.
Some general units in some hospitals will also be converted to COVID-19 beds, as soon as possible hospital The capital city will be rebuilt with the support of health workers from other parts of China.
The city on Wednesday reported a total of 58,750 new infections, more than 32,000 of which were detected by rapid antigen testing. Hong Kong also reported 195 deaths, bringing the total since the outbreak to 2,869.
Mainland China is also struggling increase in new cases, although larger than that of Hong Kong. A further 233 cases of domestic media were reported on Wednesday, bringing the number to 899 since the daily number returned to three numbers last Friday – the highest number since 2020, shortly after origin outbreak in the center of the country. city Wuhan was discovered.
Most recent times have been discovered in the northeastern province of Jilin, more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) north of Hong Kong, along with eastern Shandong province. Beijing itself has received six new complaints.
China has set up several tests and closed some areas, but there are no reports that all cities have been closed, which coincided with the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In Hong Kong, Lam called for the support and cooperation of private hospitals to help with the growing number of patients. She said some private hospitals have approved the provision of beds for COVID-19 patients.
The increase in cases over the past two months has caused problems for the health system, with many government hospitals becoming overcrowded. Officials have deployed cold containers to store public corpses while the public mortuary is depleted.
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