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Hong Kong hospital wards overflowing as Omicron challenges zero-Covid policies


HONG KONG — As spiraling Omicron cases overwhelm Hong Kong’s healthcare system, officials on Tuesday doubled down on their zero Covid strategy by commandeering thousands of apartments and hotel rooms to isolate infected residents.

Public hospital wards began to overflow, with reports of children being turned away as pediatric isolation beds ran out. Despite the strain, only a fraction of those treated or isolated were in critical condition, and Hong Kong officials have urged residents who test positive for Covid-19 – previously subject to immediate hospitalization regardless of their symptoms or vaccination status – avoid emergencies if their symptoms are benign.

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