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As soon as in, there is not any out quickly: Here is what occurs inside of Hong Kong’s Covid isolation wards

It’s been just about 3 weeks since Darryl Chan examined sure for Covid-19 on arrival on the Hong Kong airport. In spite of appearing no signs, he nonetheless stays remoted in a health facility ward. He does now not know when he’ll be allowed to go away.

With the exception of mainland China, Hong Kong is among the few puts on this planet this is pursuing a strict ‘zero-Covid coverage’. Which means that maximum non-residents aren’t allowed to go into and those that do arrive from out of the country must go through 3 weeks of quarantine, whether or not or now not they’re absolutely vaccinated.

Darryl Chan flew from London to Hong Kong on December 19 for his new process, CNN reported. He used to be absolutely vaccinated with a booster shot and had examined unfavorable a couple of occasions sooner than he left the United Kingdom. On the other hand, on arrival in Hong Kong, he took the required Covid check and used to be discovered to be sure.

Greater than 12 hours after he landed, he used to be taken to a close-by health facility for additional checking out. Even supposing asymptomatic, he used to be discovered to be inflamed with the Omicron variant of the virus.

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In Hong Kong, the minimal isolation length for many who check sure, even though asymptomatic, is round a month. They have got to stick on the health facility for no less than ten days and aren’t allowed to go away until they check unfavorable two times, regardless of how lengthy that takes.

After checking out unfavorable two times, the sufferers beneath confinement orders are taken to isolation amenities for 2 extra weeks.

Accordingly, Darryl Chan has been in an isolation ward since December 19 and isn’t certain when he’ll have the ability to see the arena once more. He spends 24 hours an afternoon within the room and has no get entry to to recent air.

“I feel the worst phase isn’t realizing when I will have the ability to get out. You are virtually feeling like you might be again in class, with managed wake-up and bedtime and now not with the ability to keep an eye on what you’ll be able to consume,” he used to be quoted in a CNN file.


Within the isolation ward, Darryl Chan’s day-to-day regimen should fit that set by way of the health facility.

At 8 am, he wakes as much as a jingle at the public cope with gadget and a statement that reminds him to observe his vitals.

He’s given his foods at mounted occasions. He spends the remainder of the day observing Netflix and the usage of social media.

“I might say most likely early or mid-afternoon are the toughest time of the day,” he instructed CNN. “Within the morning, you take a look at your emails or social media. However by the point lunch rocks round, that is whilst you cross, ‘I do not in reality know what I will do’.”

The docs have now not been ready to make clear when he’ll be discharged. All of it is determined by when he assessments unfavorable, he mentioned.


With its zero-Covid coverage and strict quarantine measures, Hong Kong has in large part succeeded in preserving its Covid case numbers and hospitalisations low. On the other hand, this comes at a price the psychological well being of the ones present process lengthy sessions of isolation.

Darryl Chan mentioned he’s apprehensive about his psychological well being as his isolation length stretches additional and extra.

“I unquestionably really feel slightly trapped and that’s a horrifying feeling I am seeking to rationalise it, I feel simply going throughout the processes realizing that there are particular issues you’ll be able to and can not trade … the one factor that I will be able to trade is how I manner it and what I do with my time,” he instructed CNN.

“I’m seeking to flip it into one thing helpful, one thing attention-grabbing to expectantly sooner or later glance again on and remember the fact that time once I sat in a health facility room for X selection of days,” he added.

In this, psychiatrist Dr Elisabeth Wong mentioned, “Basically, there’s larger sense of isolation, nervousness, and in some serious instances, even post-traumatic rigidity. On the other hand, there are tricks to keeping up just right psychological well being. This comprises ensuring you agenda your day slightly obviously so you’ve leisure occasions and paintings occasions. Up to you’ll be able to, incorporate some roughly workout inside the day.”

She additionally urged seeing quarantine as an act of altruism moderately than a punishment.


Not too long ago, Hong Kong recognized a variety of Omicron instances in a cluster connected to aircrew. That is the primary case of in the neighborhood transmitted Covid instances in just about 3 months within the town.

Moreover, loads of folks together with twenty eating place workforce who have been shut contacts of the sure instances were despatched to isolate at a central authority camp for 3 weeks.

Ahead of the Omicron cluster emerged, Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam had mentioned that the town’s zero-Covid coverage would stay in position.

“Hong Kong has been taking very stringent measures to protect towards importation of instances in an effort to keeping up 0 native an infection. Within the face of the fierce onslaught of Omicron, we want to be much more vigilant,” she mentioned on December 28.

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