SINGAPORE — The repurposed AsiaWorld Expo center in Hong Kong echoes with the moans of elderly COVID-19 patients. Kept in 8-square-foot cubicles, many go weeks without fresh air, sunlight or a bath. Some take their last breaths under the harsh glow of the convention hall lights. On a good day, an ambulance will arrive in an hour to carry their bodies away.
“It’s a nightmare,” said Lily, a 22-year-old nurse at the isolation facility. “Sometimes we call for an ambulance because a patient needs to go to a hospital and we’re told it will take one to two days to arrive. It’s really shocking.”
The nurse, exhausted by having to care for more than 150 patients with one other co-worker, declined to give her last name because staffers were ordered not to speak to the press about the conditions at the site, which have come to exemplify the runaway COVID-19 crisis in Hong Kong.