Mainland helps HK design makeshift hospital

The overview of HongKong makeshift hospital in the Hong Kong AsiaWorld Expo, Photo from People’s Daily Weibo

A Chinese mainland architecture firm is designing a “fangcang” makeshift hospital for Hong Kong, similar to the ones built in Wuhan, to help address the sickbed shortage problem as Hong Kong faces growing epidemic-control pressure.

Hong Kong reported 80 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, August 4, bringing the total to 3,670. The risks of community transmissions are still high, and there are reports of patients waiting for medical treatment at home due to bed shortages.

To aid the city in its fight against the virus, a team from the mainland team started working on a design for a makeshift hospital for Hong Kong after being assigned the task on July 29. The team is comprised of experts in architecture, structure, water supply and drainage, electrical systems and heating and ventilation, the Wuhan-based Central South Architectural Design Institute (CSADI) told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The Hong Kong-version of the makeshift hospital will be a retrofitting of the Hong Kong AsiaWorld Expo, according to the company.

In addition to assisting Hong Kong in building the makeshift hospital at the AsiaWorld Expo, the central government will also help build a new specialist temporary hospital in Hong Kong, similar to the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said.

Xie Hu, from CSADI, who was in charge of the architectural design of the Wuhan Leishenshan Hospital and a makeshift hospital in Wuchang district of Wuhan, will travel to Hong Kong, along with five other specialists who will share their expertise in constructing Wuhan’s makeshift hospitals.

Previous media reports said they hold a visit permit valid for six months.

Xie worked through the night with his colleagues to complete the design of the Leishenshan Hospital and submitted the complete construction drawings in three days, media reported.

“During Xie’s stay in Hong Kong, the entire team will give him support 24/7 to construct the makeshift hospital,” a staff member from the publicity department of the CSADI told the Global Times.

She said Xie is still awaiting the final order from authorities to depart.

The team will borrow from the design experience of previous makeshift hospitals and provide a design scheme which is suited to the makeshift hospital in Hong Kong, such as creating a safety working zone for medical staff and separating clean and polluted zones.

One hall of the AsiaWorld Expo was put into use as hospital on Saturday, with a 500-bed capacity. The Hospital Authority said it is considering renovating the second hall of the expo building to host more patients.

Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority told the Global Times via email that the Expo hospital had received 85 patients by Tuesday noon and more patients will be accepted based on their symptoms and age.

With increasing patients, isolation wards in public hospitals are close to its limit, the Hospital Authority said, noting it is figuring out ways to carry out community isolation and treatment to save beds at public hospital for more critical patients.

Jin Dongyan, a biomedical professor at the University of Hong Kong, told the Global Times the downward trend does not mean the epidemic is already under control, as the risk of a fourth and fifth wave will always exist.

“Hong Kong is trying its best to plug the loopholes of preventing imported patients but the coronavirus is cunning. Many infected patients who are in the incubation period cannot be found when they are in customs, despite having already tested negative for the virus,” Jin noted.

Source: Global Times

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