Chief Executive Carrie Lam today described recent delays in finding hospital beds for fresh COVID-19 cases as “unsatisfactory,” and said that patients already well on the way to recovery may be moved into different facilities to free up spaces for those that need them.
The remarks came as Hong Kong announced that at least another 60 people had been confirmed as having the disease, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the city to 682 as of this morning. So far, four people have died of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, and 124 have recovered.
Speaking before an Executive Council meeting today, Lam said that the government was looking into isolating nearly recovered patients outside of hospitals, and that some 400 planned “second-tier” isolation beds should help to alleviate crowding, RTHK reports.
“It is not satisfactory for confirmed cases not to be admitted to hospital yet,” Lam told members of the press. “And the problem lies in the capacity constraints in the hospital to admit patients in a more speedy manner.”
The shortage of beds came to light yesterday, when it was revealed that dozens of patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 had yet to be admitted to hospital.
Lam today attributed the delays to the large number of imported cases, which have made up the majority of new infections in recent weeks.
This was also true of the 60 new cases, according to the SCMP, which reported that one of the new cases was a pregnant woman who had recently traveled to Brazil and the U.S. She is the second pregnant woman to contract COVID-19 in Hong Kong so far.