Contractors race to build temporary hospitals as Covid surges in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration, John Lee (centre), on 9 March at a new, temporary isolation facility at San Tin, one of nine built by China State International Holdings (Photograph courtesy of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)

State-backed construction crews raced this week to erect temporary hospitals and isolation facilities in Hong Kong amid a sudden surge in Covid-19 infections and deaths in the city.

After seeing just handfuls of new daily cases over much of last year, daily infections jumped to hundreds in January, thousands in February and tens of thousands this month, hitting just under 57,000 on 3 March.

China State Construction International Holdings has been building facilities at nine sites with a total of 50,000 beds, including an isolation and treatment facility in Tsing Yi with 3,900 beds, which the contractor built in a week, and a makeshift hospital at Lok Ma Chau Loop with 1,000 beds and a quarantine facility that can house 10,000 people, Global Times reports.

To facilitate the movement of material and equipment from the Mainland, a temporary bridge was installed over the river dividing Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Authorities hope the 3 March tally of infections was the peak of the wave, with 31,402 new cases identified on 10 March.

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