fredag 18. februar 2022

‘No light at the end’: How Hong Kong’s Covid response went so wrong

The beds pile up outside Hong Kong’s Caritas hospital. In the cold night, elderly patients lie on gurneys covered with blankets and thermal foil sheets. A woman in pink folds her arms against the chill, while another reaches across her bed in an apparent gesture of comfort to a neighbour. Nearby, others crowd into yellow and blue spillover tents lining the car park edges. The hospital staff attend people calling out when they can, but they are outnumbered. Wails from patients carry through the air.

There are similar scenes across the city, where 11 public hospitals were operating at or beyond capacity as of Friday. Private hospitals refuse to take Covid patients. Photos supplied to the Guardian show a treatment room inside one hospital earlier this week (88% capacity) with gurneys three deep across the thoroughfare, on a floor strewn with garbage. Bathrooms that no one has had time to clean were soiled with faeces, dirt and discarded biohazard bags.