Omicron surge: Hong Kong turns public housing into Covid quarantine facilities


Hong Kong, China: Hong Kong has turned newly built public housing and 10,000 hotel rooms into quarantine accommodation as authorities strive to control an Omicron outbreak that has overwhelmed the city.

Recent days have seen record daily highs of more than 2,000 cases, but experts have warned the outbreak could reach about 30,000 a day. Already hospitals, testing facilities, and isolation centres have been swamped, with local media publishing photos of spillover tents set up in hospital carparks.

Thousands of people infected with Covid-19 are on a waiting list for isolation rooms.

The move to repurpose social housing in Fanling and Kwai Chung will accommodate more than 3,000 people, chief executive Carrie Lam said. It mirrors a decision in February 2020 to convert a newly built block in Sha Tin, reversing a pledge not to repurpose the sought-after public housing and sparking small protests.

The hotel rooms were not yet identified, and Lam warned she had emergency legal powers to compel hotels if not enough were cooperating.


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