COVID-19 patients gather, flout social distancing rules at AsiaWorld-Expo makeshift hospital (Video)

Virus patients, most of them foreigners, were seen gathering and laughing in groups at the makeshift treatment facility at the AsiaWorld-Expo. Screenshot from YouTube
Virus patients, most of them foreigners, were seen gathering and laughing in groups at the makeshift treatment facility at the AsiaWorld-Expo. Screenshot from YouTube

COVID-19 patients at the AsiaWorld-Expo, which has been converted into a makeshift hospital, were seen flouting social distancing rules in a video that has drawn contempt online.

In the clip, a version of which was uploaded to a YouTube channel that posts viral videos last Sunday, patients—most of them foreigners—are captured chatting and walking among a row of beds. One of them is not wearing a mask.

“These gwei lo (foreigners) … look, they’ve circled around the venue a couple times,” the man who filmed the video said, sighing audibly. “Ridiculous, these gwei lo.”

The phone camera then pans to a small sitting area, where four patients wearing checkered hospital garb are talking and laughing loudly.

“They’re chatting away,” the man narrated.

The original filmer of the video, and when it was shot, is not unknown.

In a press conference yesterday, Lau Ka-hin, Chief Manager of Quality and Standards at the Hospital Authority, said he was aware of the video.

“We want to remind patients that even if their symptoms are mild, they must listen to instructions from medical staff. They should wear their masks properly and practice social distancing,” said Lau.

“Medical staff can’t watch over patients 24/7, so we hope that patients can have self-discipline and be cooperative to fight the virus together.”

Halls in theAsiaWorld-Expo, one of the city’s largest convention space, were turned into a temporary treatment facility in August amid the third wave of COVID-19 infections. The facility admits younger patients who are in stable condition, helping to alleviate demand for beds at public hospitals.

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