AsiaWorld-Expo eyed as Covid hospital facility

As Hong Kong battles with surge in coronavirus cases, health chiefs earmark huge venue to hold stable Covid-19 patients

HONG KONG’S largest business events venue has been earmarked to hold stable Covid-19 patients if hospitals in the city struggle to cope with the sudden spike in coronavirus cases.

AsiaWorld-Expo has already been used as a testing centre for people arriving at the nearby Hong Kong International Airport, but health chiefs say the venue could be used to help ease the burden on local hospitals.

A record high of 113 new Covid cases were recorded in Hong Kong on Wednesday and followed a surge of infections over the past two weeks.

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Hong Kong Hospital Authority chief executive Dr Tony Ko Pat-sing told the South China Morning Post that AsiaWorld-Expo could be converted for patients to be treated there and health experts had experience of working at the facility.

“We used AsiaWorld-Expo as a [virus] test centre before,” Ko told the Post. “We have experience in work procedures and operations there.”

The surge in Covid cases in Hong Kong came after a period of no infections being recorded and public gathering restrictions eased. Stricter measures are now being imposed including mask wearing in all public indoor venues and restaurant closures at 6pm.

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Events such as the international rugby sevens tournament and a major book fair have been cancelled.

A spokesman for AsiaWorld-Expo, however, told MIX there were as this stage no plans to change a roster of business and entertainment events lined up at the venue. These include an August 30 Billie Eilish concert as part of the singer’s world tour, university examinations scheduled for August 29 and two major electronics fairs in October.

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