Covid-19: Hong Kong hospitals hit 90% capacity as cases surge

Published on Feb 18, 2022 02:54 AM IST

Hong Kong reported 6,116 new coronavirus infections on Thursday. Authorities reported 24 new deaths over the past week. The city’s total infections now stand at 16,600, with 219 deaths.

In picture - A patient wearing a face mask and a face shield lies on a bed at a makeshift treatment area outside a hospital following the Covid-19 outbreak in Hong Kong.(Reuters)
In picture - A patient wearing a face mask and a face shield lies on a bed at a makeshift treatment area outside a hospital following the Covid-19 outbreak in Hong Kong.(Reuters)
Agencies | , Hong Kong

Hospitals in Hong Kong’s reached 90% capacity on Thursday and quarantine facilities were at their limit, authorities said, as the city struggles to snuff out a record number of new cases by adhering to China’s “zero tolerance” strategy. To ease the strain on the city’s healthcare system, officials said they would take a different approach to hospitalisation and isolation policies and allow some patients to be discharged sooner.

Hong Kong reported 6,116 new coronavirus infections on Thursday. Authorities reported 24 new deaths over the past week. The city’s total infections now stand at 16,600, with 219 deaths.

Truckers brace for police crackdown in Ottawa

Police poured into downtown Ottawa on Thursday in what truckers feared was a prelude to a crackdown on their nearly three-week, street-clogging protest. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday defended his use of emergency powers to try to dislodge a trucker-led occupation of the capital in opposition to Covid health rules, saying it was not “peaceful”.

World ‘better prepared’ for variants: BioNTech

The world is becoming “better prepared” to deal with future variants of the coronavirus, the CEO and co-founder of German vaccine-maker BioNTech told AFP on Thursday, as the company works on an Omicron-specific shot.

“We will have to get used to the fact that we will have to live with the virus for the next 10 years,” said Ugur Sahin, whose company developed the first mRNA vaccine against the virus with US pharma giant Pfizer.

Meanwhile, Japan will ease its tough Covid-19 border controls by increasing the number of people allowed to enter each day and reduce quarantine requirements following criticism that its current policy is unscientific and xenophobic.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday the daily entry cap will be raised to 5,000, including Japanese citizens, from the current 3,500 beginning March 1.

Swiss prez tests positive

Swiss President Ignazio Cassis has tested positive for Covid-19, the government said on Thursday, the day Switzerland removed almost all restrictions on public life after 23 months of curbs. He has no symptoms and is in good health, it said.

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