Hospital wait for virus patients unsatisfactory: CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that it is “unsatisfactory” that some people diagnosed with coronavirus are not being taking into hospital for treatment right away.

Lam said patients who have nearly recovered from Covid-19 may have to be moved to other isolation facilities to free up beds for others, but officials are still working on the logistics.

On Monday, health officials said more than three dozen people confirmed to have the disease were still waiting to be admitted to hospital because isolation beds are in a tight supply.

One man complained he was left at home in his subdivided flat for two days, but officials said that on average, such patients are admitted after one day.

Speaking ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam blamed the delay on the large number of recent arrivals from overseas who have been in home quarantine.

She said many were asymptomatic, but are later confirmed to be infected after undergoing saliva tests at home.

“It is not satisfactory for confirmed cases not to be admitted to hospital yet,” Lam told reporters. “And the problem lies in the capacity constraints in the hospital to admit patients in a more speedy manner.”

She said she had asked the health secretary to work with the Hospital Authority to find ways to speed up the transfer process, adding that 400 “second-tier” isolation beds on the way should alleviate the situation.

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