'Shopping' Patient Puts Focus On Admission Delay

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2020-07-31 HKT 18:30

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  • 'Shopping' patient puts focus on admission delay

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has confirmed media reports that a 37-year-old woman awaiting hospital admission had left her home in Ho Man Tin to do some shopping as the public health facilities struggle to quickly accommodate all those who test positive for coronavirus.

The Hospital Authority has admitted that at least 100 patients were waiting for a hospital bed, with the city now persistently reporting new cases in the triple digits daily. On Friday, the CHP reported 121 new coronavirus infections, including three imported cases, in addition to around 90 preliminary positive cases.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of CHP said the Ho Man Tin woman was confirmed to have contracted the virus on Wednesday following the onset of symptoms the day before, and that she shared a meal with two people who later tested positive.

Chuang said the woman told officials that she went out to buy something to prepare for her hospital stay, but was unable to give details on how long she was out for.

She said the woman did not violate any law, as authorities had not yet issued her with an isolation order.

Chuang said she understood that some people waiting for hospital admission were feeling anxious and repeated calls to those waiting at home to be patient.

The rising number of cases are increasing the chances of cross contamination in some hospitals.

Dr Sara Ho, a chief manager of the Hospital Authority confirmed that an elderly patient with a chronic illness in Queen Elizabeth Hospital has tested positive in a preliminary test during her stay at the hospital.

The hospital is carrying out contact tracing and around 10 patients who shared the same cubicle as the woman have been listed as close contacts and will be arranged to be quarantined.

Ho said that they have no plans to require all patients to test negative for Covid-19 before being admitted to hospital, but that it is implementing enhanced laboratory surveillance.

Ho also confirmed that an 81 year-old man with a chronic illness also tested positive shortly after being discharged from Tuen Mun Hospital.