onsdag 23. februar 2022

Hong Kong: What went wrong with its Covid plan?

The scene was grim at Caritas Medical Centre last week. Just outside the hospital's emergency room, dozens of hospital beds had been placed in an alley under makeshift tents. The air was punctuated by the moans of patients - most of whom were elderly - and cries of children. All were suspected or confirmed Covid cases waiting to be admitted.

"It felt like we were in a wartime refugee camp. It was depressing. We were tearful, but there was no more space in the ward. They could only wait and there was nothing we could do," one emergency room nurse told the BBC. Days later the patients were moved indoors, after Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the situation was "unacceptable". But Hong Kong's hospitals still remain full as the city battles its worst wave of infections. Hong Kong was a poster child of pandemic control success in the past two years. By the end of 2021, the city of 7.5 million had recorded only 12,650 cases and fewer than 220 deaths.