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Covid patients waiting outside hospitals moved indoors as cases ease slightly

19 February 2022

 By The SUN

All patients outside hospitals are to be moved indoors as temperatures are set to plunge

Health officials said Covid-19 patients waiting for admission in cold weather outside hospitals were to be all moved indoors Friday, as temperatures are forecast to drop to as low as 11 degrees over the weekend.

The announcement came as a total of 3629 Covid-19 cases were confirmed Friday, down nearly half from the previous day’s tally of 6,116.

However there was a record 7,600 preliminary confirmed cases, suggesting the drastic drop was more the result of late reporting rather than an actual easing in the spread of the virus.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection confirmed this, saying 4800 tests were already at the Department of Health laboratory being tested and hopefully these will be confirmed by the day’s end.  


She urged private testing contractors to submit positive samples as soon as possible so they can be confirmed.

She said that of the confirmed cases, 52 carried the Delta strain while 2,136 cases were likely to be Omicron. The result of tests on the remaining 106 samples were still pending.

Dr Sara Ho of the Hospital Authority reported that 3,099 patients were being treated at three infectious disease centers and public hospitals while 2,200 others with mild or no symptoms are at Penny’s Bay Isolation Centre.


For the past 24 hours, 10 more people have died. The details of the eight were announced in a press release the previous night, while the two others involved a 62-year-old man and a 96-year-old woman.

Ten other patients are in critical condition, but Dr Ho did not give particulars.

She said 251 patients had been discharged from hospitals, but they remained at full capacity because of the long waiting list for beds.

Pindutin para sa detalye

She also said that the Hospital Authority has started vacating some indoor spaces inside hospitals like out-patient clinics, staff rooms and conference rooms, so patients need not wait outside in the cold while waiting to be admitted.

Ambulances keep arriving with residents from elderly care homes (RTHK)

Dr Ho said all the patients will be moved indoors within the day.

“It will get colder, no one wants elderly people waiting in the cold outside the hospitals so we are doing extra work to get them in. We will leave no stone unturned to get this done,” said Dr Ho.

To make room for them, she said patients in stable condition are being moved out of hospitals to isolation facilities. However, as soon as beds are vacated, she said ambulances would come in, bringing residents from elderly care homes.


She appealed to staff managing care homes to accept patients who have recovered back in their facilities to free up much-needed hospital beds. She said the HA will send outreach teams to the care homes to support them in looking after residents.

An additional 30 care homes have reported infections among residents and/or staff, according to Dr Chuang, making a total of 150 struggling to cope with outbreaks from the fifth wave.

Dr Ho also appealed to the public not to send any more stuff to hospitals like warm clothes and masks as they have sufficient supplies. She thanked the kind-hearted donors but said the donations hamper the work of frontline staff.


·         She reiterated an invitation to private doctors to do parttime work for the HA, particularly in the accident and emergency stations.

Asked by a reporter about complaints that patients at Penny’s Bay are not being tested regularly, Dr Ho said they will contact the contractors and tell them to improve their service.

Another question concerning the number of foreign domestic helpers among the confirmed cases was answered by Dr Chuang. She confirmed that FDHs are among the confirmed cases, but said she did not have the exact figures.


Asked about reports that some FDHs are stuck outside hospitals with nowhere to go, Dr Chuang said they should remain where they are and wait for the CHP to contact them on when they can move to an isolation facility.

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