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New Covid rules will waste hospital resources: expert

2021-10-27 HKT 09:20
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  • New Covid rules will waste hospital resources: expert
Epidemiologist Benjamin Cowling on Wednesday said requiring recovered Covid patients to spend an extra two weeks in hospital before being allowed to go home will waste public resources.

The infectious diseases expert from the University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health, said there were no cases known around the world where a recovered, or even a re-positive case, had triggered a community outbreak.

“The previous policy is that people who have Covid are put in isolation until doctors are confident that they’ve recovered and they’re no longer contagious – they’re no longer a threat – if they’re discharged,” Cowling said.

“That’s happened more than 10,000 times, throughout more than 10,000 discharged cases back into Hong Kong. There have never been any report of any recovered case triggering a community outbreak and that’s the same as the rest of the world.”

Cowling explained the new rules mean the average hospital stay will go from 10 to 12 days to more than four weeks for each case, which will be a waste of public resources and put more pressure on hospitals.

Meanwhile, respiratory medicine expert Leung Chi-chiu has said the restrictions are proportionate given how few cases the SAR has.

Leung added the move should make it easier to reach an agreement with mainland officials to reopen the border.