Covid cases in Hong Kong have reached 7,000 a day and are probably doubling every three days. Despite this, flights from the US, UK, the Philippines, India and other places remain banned to keep out a possible handful of infected passengers. But that’s the least of the weirdness.
Everyone will have to attend three Covid tests during March, and the government will attempt to build enough new isolation facilities to handle all the infections that are discovered. Everything is being done ‘with Central Government support’. But even the promised new isolation and treatment facilities (Lok Ma Chau Loop, land loans from developers, etc) will be full within days at expected infection-growth rates.
An expert doubts whether the authorities can manage to isolate people fast enough (within 24 hours) to dent the disease’s spread. And he’s reckoning on mass-testing revealing 20,000-30,000 cases a day, when forecasts show the real figure could reach maybe 10 times that.
Officials must first organize the logistics of a million tests a day. By the time they begin, Covid will probably have already infected so many Hongkongers that it’ll be irrelevant.
For extra added weirdness, schools’ summer vacation will take place in March-April to free up premises for tests, vaccinations and isolation. (The Easter break will be in… August?)
One expert (last Standard link) foresees outbreaks being contained within three months. The whole wave of Omicron will sweep through the population in that time anyway.
It looks as if Beijing is demanding massive stage-management of a ‘dynamic zero whatever’ policy in order for the CCP to claim – after nature takes its course – that it valiantly drove the virus out of Hong Kong. The official line is that this will protect the elderly, even though prioritizing suppression over mitigation will quite possibly have the opposite effect. Everyone must pretend that this makes sense.
The next few months will challenge not just our physical but mental health.