Hong Kong's Reccent Surge In Covid Cases Is Overwhelming Hospitals According To Chinese Authorities

Hong Kong reported 15 coronavirus deaths and more than 6,000 confirmed cases for a second day in a surge the Chinese territory's leader says is overwhelming hospitals.

The government announced plans to have construction crews from mainland China build isolation units with 10,000 beds after crowding at hospitals forced patients to wait outdoors in winter cold.

There were 6,063 confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours, raising the territory’s total to 46,763.

That was down slightly from Thursday’s 6,116 but one of Hong Kong’s highest daily totals.

Hong Kong has tightened travel and business controls as it tries to contain the surge.

On Friday, the chief executive, Carrie Lam, announced the election for her post would be postponed by six weeks to 8th May due to "public health risks".

Lam said on Monday the territory's hospitals were overwhelmed. The government said the new isolation and treatment units will be built in the Penny's Bay and Kai Tak districts.

Mainland Chinese crews have experience of constructing hospitals quickly after two facilities with 1,500 and 1,000 beds were built in Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak, in 10 days in early 2020.

They also converted 16 other buildings into isolation hospitals.

Lam said her government would also use hotel rooms, sports facilities and newly built public housing units to hold patients.

The chief executive of the hospital authority, Tony Ko, apologised in a radio broadcast on Saturday after patients were forced to wait outdoors. He said most had been moved indoors or to other facilities.

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