Translator: 净水一源 (PureHeart-Yuan); Reviewer：文橙 (Wencheng)
On 20 September 2020, the Development Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government posted on social networking sites that the construction of additional community treatment facilities at the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) had commenced and that the facilities were expected to provide about 1,000 beds. The required modifications will be completed within a few weeks.
To cope with the possibility of a new wave of pandemic in winter, the SAR Government, with the support of the Central Government, has been preparing for the establishment of community treatment facilities, including additional beds with negative air pressure facilities in the AWE Pavilion and a temporary hospital adjacent to the AWE Pavilion.
According to the Development Bureau, the work sites for the two projects were handed over to the engineering teams engaged by the Mainland on the 19th of October to carry out the work.
Earlier on August 7, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced two specific requests to the Central Government, including adding 1,000 negative-pressure beds to the existing 500 beds in the AWE Community Treatment Facility-upgrading the Hong Kong version of the cubicle hospital; and building a temporary hospital of 32,000 square meters next to the AWE Museum, with 800 negative-pressure beds in a two-story building – the Hong Kong version of the Vulcan Hill Hospital. The temporary hospital is expected to take four months to complete, emphasizing that it is to cope with future epidemics.
On 20 September 2020, there were 23 new confirmed cases of CCP virus infection in Hong Kong, with a total of 5,039 confirmed cases.
The Chairman of the Hospital Authority, Mr. Fan Hung-ling, introduced the current bed situation in Hong Kong. There are about 1,200 negative pressure beds in first-tier hospitals, 500 beds in second-tier hospitals (for patients who are getting better), 350 beds in community isolation centers including Lei Yue Mun Hospital, and 500 beds in the AWE, making a total of about 2,550 beds.
Fan Hong-ling said in a recent interview that 442 people were admitted to AWE Hall 1 between August 1 and 13, of whom 363 were patients aged 21 to 50, 189 of whom were discharged from the hospital with an average length of stay of 3.4 days; 68 others were transferred back to the hospital due to abnormal X-ray or laboratory reports and other clinical conditions.
According to the aforementioned Hospital Authority data, the AWE Hall 1 was sufficient to cope with the third round of the epidemic in Hong Kong. Right now, 70% more beds were added to cope with the need of future epidemics. The Hong Kong government “expects” a new wave of CCP virus epidemics to strike again, and it is likely that the severity of the epidemic will be much greater than that of the third round.