Already overcrowded hospitals are bracing for even more patients as a blast of cold weather hits the territory this week. The cold snap is expected to deliver single-digit temperatures across Hong Kong on Friday.
The Hospital Authority (HA) has warned that the cold weather will increase pressure on public hospitals, most of which are already over capacity.
The combination of rain and frigid temperatures would drive more people into public hospitals, according to Secretary for Food and Health Dr. Ko Wing-man.
“The continued cold temperatures cause a lot of other chronic diseases,” said Ko.
“Cold weather can even increase the chances of falls of elderly people,” he added. Ko says the Hospital Authority is asking public hospitals to determine whether any non-emergency services can be put on hold to ease the serious overcrowding problem.
The Hong Kong Observatory has forecast a cold and rainy week for Hong Kong, with an “intense northeast monsoon” affecting the city. Temperatures on Friday are expected to be between 9 and 13 degrees Celsius.