Hong Kong is being overwhelmed by the "onslaught" of COVID-19 infections, its leader said on Monday as daily infections have multiplied 13 times over the past two weeks.
Hong Kong is being overwhelmed by the "onslaught" of COVID-19 infections, its leader said on Monday as daily infections have multiplied 13 times over the past two weeks, according to a Reuters report.
While around 100 fresh cases of COVID-19 were being reported every day in the beginning of February the number shot past 1,300 on Feb. 13.
The city is due to report at least 1,530 COVID-19 cases on Monday, news channel TVB said, which would be a new record for daily cases.
Hong Kong residents have been banned from public gatherings of more than two people while schools, churches and gyms are all shut. Dining in restaurants is banned from 6.p.m local time and most people are working from home, according to the Reuters report.
Strict flight restrictions have turned Hong Kong into one of the world's most isolated major cities with its borders effectively sealed for around two years
Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam issued a statement on Monday saying her administration would coordinate with Chinese officials to tackle the "aggravating situation".
"The onslaught of the fifth wave of the epidemic has dealt a heavy blow to Hong Kong and overwhelmed the city's capacity of handling," she said, adding patients were having to wait longer to access isolation facilities.
"The situation is highly undesirable and the government feels worried and sorry about it," she said.
With the healthcare system already overstretched, medical experts warn the city could see 28,000 daily infections by the end of March, with the unvaccinated elderly a particular worry.
Hospital beds for COVID-19 patients are already at 90% occupancy, data from the city's Hospital Authority showed, while isolation facilities are near full capacity.
China has said it would help the city with testing, treatment and quarantine, and provide more rapid antigen kits and protective gear to fight the pandemic.