Ready for an ambulance in Hong Kong can take greater than a day as the town reels from a surge in Omicron instances and its hospitals, docs and nurses are stretched skinny.
One-third of Hong Kong’s ambulance employees have examined constructive for the coronavirus or are quarantining as a result of they’re shut contacts of constructive instances. That’s practically 1,000 workers, mentioned Saphine Yip on the Hearth Providers Division.
The longest wait time for an ambulance was a day and 15 hours, she mentioned.
Officers are battling the town’s worst coronavirus outbreak, with 56,827 instances reported on Thursday. Town has recorded 1,153 deaths for the reason that Omicron variant started to unfold in January, and a majority of deaths have been among the many older people who find themselves not vaccinated.
For a lot of the pandemic, Hong Kong prevented enormous outbreaks by using robust border controls and social distancing guidelines. For the higher a part of the previous two years, officers recorded single- or double-digit every day instances, and most of these had been thought-about imported instances from vacationers who had just lately arrived in Hong Kong and had been nonetheless in quarantine.
As soon as a mannequin for easy methods to management a pandemic, Hong Kong is changing into a cautionary story, with scenes that recall the earliest — and most fearful — days of the pandemic. Hospitals have run out of beds in isolation wards and are working at close to full occupancy fee and useless our bodies have piled up in hospital hallways due to restricted manpower to maneuver the useless to public morgues.
Well being care employees and emergency responders have been confronted with hovering demand for his or her providers from the general public, and officers have appealed to these with delicate signs to remain house as an alternative of utilizing up treasured authorities assets.