Hong Kong’s Fifth Coronavirus Wave Crippling Hospitals
Chinese leader Xi Jinping demanded that Hong Kong’s government get its Omicron coronavirus surge, which has crippled the city’s healthcare system, under control.
Xi’s order was published in the city’s two main state-owned newspapers and claimed that getting Hong Kong‘s virus outbreak under control was “the overriding task at present.” The variant has overwhelmed public hospitals and it’s so contagious that it’s nearly impossible for the government to isolate infected patients and their contacts.
While the local officials have been tasked with getting the situation under control, Chinese authorities said they would help add to the city’s testing capacity. Xi also said the central government will step in to supplement food and other supplies.
Hong Kong officials traveled to mainland China to discuss plans on how to maintain the country’s zero-Covid policies, which are failing amid a fifth wave of the virus.
“The reality is that zero-Covid was a policy that Xi Jinping insisted on,” Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute at the University of London, said. “It cannot be allowed to fail on the mainland, and Hong Kong is being increasingly treated as an integral part of the PRC and it cannot be allowed to fail in Hong Kong either.”
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam outlined plans Tuesday to expand facilities to treat, confine and isolate infected residents. She expressed her “heartfelt gratitude” to Xi on Wednesday for his remarks and vowed to “spare no effort” in the city’s fight to let citizens “resume their normal lives early.”