On Feb. 17, there were 6116 new Covid confirmed cases, of which 6107 cases were local. Hong Kong’s medical system is overloaded—many hospitals’ emergency rooms are full, and many patients have to lie in outdoor beds waiting for treatment. As a result, many COVID-positive patients can only choose to take medication before going home to rest.

As the South China Morning Post reported, there were 24 new deaths, and more than ten patients are still in critical condition. In addition, more than 140 health care workers in Hong Kong public hospitals tested positive for the first time.

A law professor at Beijing’s Beihang University who studies Hong Kong, Tian Feilong, said, “The loopholes and oscillation in Hong Kong’s antivirus strategy show that some officials have not met the requirements for ‘firm patriotism.'”

According to Taiwanese media Liberty Times Net, several hospitals in Hong Kong have to set up diversion areas in the open space outside the emergency rooms, allowing patients to lie in outdoor beds and wait for treatment.

Chen Guocheng, chairman of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority staff, said that many patients are waiting for medical treatment while their physical conditions deteriorate.

Hong Kong Hospital Authority Chief Administrative Manager He Wanxia said the emergency room is now full of worrying situations. As a result, authorities began to update the discharge criteria for isolation facilities. Patients can be discharged if asymptomatic and turn negative seven days after a positive test. In addition, patients who aren’t in high-risk groups can be released from isolation in the hope of speeding up the flow rate of isolation facilities.

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