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The rumbling continues to grow. In the meantime, Hong Kong sticks with a zero-COVID policy.

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Hong Kong (AP) — Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly irritated by the government’s insisting on sticking with China’s “zero-COVID” strategy, as Hong Kong reported a record-breaking number of cases on Wednesday and sneering at ever-more stringent guidelines and a plan that will check all people for the virus.

A general view shows a construction site where facilities for isolating the COVID-19 patients are built in Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly annoyed with the administration’s insistence on sticking to China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as the city posted another record number of new cases Wednesday, bristling at ever-stricter regulations and a plan to test every city resident for the virus. (AP Photo/Magnum Chan)

Schools have already shifted to online education, and the summer vacations are moving ahead so that the schools could be used for testing for isolation, vaccination, and testing. Hong Kong says it will follow through with its plan to conduct tests on each 7.5 million inhabitants three times in March.

According to the “zero-COVID-19” policy, each person with positive test results must be kept within a health facility, hospital, or another government-run facility for 14 days, regardless of the symptoms. This is in stark contrast to many countries that reduce restrictions and permit people with no symptoms or mild signs to stay at home.

A woman wearing a face mask and face shield, sits in a train in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly annoyed with the administration’s insistence on sticking to China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as the city posted another record number of new cases Wednesday, bristling at ever-stricter regulations and a plan to test every city resident for the virus. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

“The entire world knows that we must live with the disease, but those in the Hong Kong government do not know about it,” claimed Taxi driver Chan Taiman. “It’s not like they do not know. They follow what the Chinese government says to them.”

The hospitals located in Hong Kong are already overwhelmed; construction teams of mainland China are being deployed to construct new isolation units. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the city is preparing to convert hotels halls, indoor stadiums, halls, and other quarantine sites.

Chinese medical teams also built mobile laboratories to prepare Hong Kong for the launch of massive testing.

Residents line up to get tested for the coronavirus at a temporary testing center in Hong Kong Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly annoyed with the administration’s insistence on sticking to China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as the city posted another record number of new cases Wednesday, bristling at ever-stricter regulations and a plan to test every city resident for the virus.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

“Everybody is anticipating that we will be able to identify a significant number of people infected by COVID-19 Hong Kong, so hopefully, with the help of a wide-ranging test, we can identify those who are infected and then put them in isolation,” Lam told reporters Tuesday evening.

“To make sure that success is achieved the success, we will require isolation equipment.”

Leung Chun-kit, who works in the kitchen, said he wasn’t sure the government was ready for universal testing or dealing with the findings.

A woman wearing a face mask and face shield, sits in a train in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly annoyed with the administration’s insistence on sticking to China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as the city posted another record number of new cases Wednesday, bristling at ever-stricter regulations and a plan to test every city resident for the virus.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

“I believe that the government should look at increasing the number of hospital staff and facilities to assist health professionals better,” he said.

In the presentation of the city’s budget Wednesday afternoon, Finance Secretary Paul Chan announced a series of measures to provide relief for residents and small companies and aid in fighting the epidemic.

People wearing face masks walk at a downtown street in Hong Kong Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly annoyed with the administration’s insistence on sticking to China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as the city posted another record number of new cases Wednesday, bristling at ever-stricter regulations and a plan to test every city resident for the virus.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

After keeping the coronavirus in check with highly stringent rules on travel abroad and restrictions within the country, Hong Kong has seen an unprecedented number of cases triggered by the highly infectious Omicron variant.

The number of cases reported daily increased to over 6000 confirmed cases for the first time. It then climbed to over 7000 earlier in the week. The following Wednesday, Hong Kong said 8,674 points.

The tests of sewage samples suggest the actual number could be much higher Experts predict that citywide tests could uncover 300,000 cases.

“We likely haven’t experienced the peak of this storm, and how we handle the next two to three months is crucial and vital to containing the tidal wave; however, there is no guarantee,” Lam said.

A vendor wearing a face mask, sells COVID-19 antigen test kids at a market in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Presently, 68 percent of Hong Kong’s inhabitants are completely vaccinated, and another 10% have had one shot, as per Our World in Data.

China’s zero-tolerance policy has locked down whole cities, keeping residents locked in their homes and giving them food and food items during the extensive testing and contact tracer.

Lockdowns of smaller buildings and city blocks have drawn fierce critique. Hong Kong, a former British colony and semi-autonomous zone of China have insufficient resources for a total lockdown. Still, residents have a growing sense that it’s moving in the direction.

Hong Kong operates under the “one country two systems” principle in China However, and mainland China is gaining more authority.

Lam insists that “there is no directive by Lam’s Central People’s Government on a lockdown” and added that the present outbreak was “entirely an issue” that her administration had to deal with.

People wearing face masks wait for tram at a downtown street in Hong Kong Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

“Our motherland is providing us with all the help is needed at this crucial phase,” she said. “But ultimately, I am accountable under the “one country two system.'”

China has reported on Wednesday the discovery of 90 cases of transmission in the domestic environment, nearly half of them in the northern Inner Mongolia region and 10 in Beijing. Shenzhen, located in Guangdong Province, which Hong Kong borders, reported seven new cases.

Guangdong also reported 38 import cases, all coming from Hong Kong, despite strict frontier controls that have stopped movement across Hong Kong and the mainland.

With the influx of people on the rise in Hong Kong on Monday, China’s top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan said strict control measures are needed to avoid the higher rate of death among those who are elderly.

People wearing face masks walk at a downtown street in Hong Kong Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Mainland China has lifted lockdowns for millions of citizens living in cities in the northern and central regions of the country. However, it remains in the process of requiring mass testing and quarantines in areas where outbreaks have been confirmed.

Practically speaking for Lam and his family, easing the zero-COVID-19 policy would also hinder trael between Hong Kong and the mainland, in which the authorities demand three weeks’ quarantine or more. Beijing will not allow Hong Kong’s frontier with mainland China until the city has zero cases.

Since the outbreak started, Hong Kong has already been operating under the strictest restrictions on business, travel, and public activities. The regulations have been in place since February. Ten also prohibit gatherings that involve more than two families. Hair salons, restaurants, and places of worship were banned from the premises.

These restrictions are expected to be tightened even more on Thursday, which is when the government launches an app to manage access to certain places.

The app will include the details of vaccinations for the user. Only those who have received at least one vaccination, or those with certain exceptions to medical treatment, can access places such as restaurants, malls, and supermarkets.

“If Hong Kong still has to adhere to the zero-COVID principle and fails to achieve it in the future, then Hong Kong would become an island as it would be isolated to the entire world, which includes China, and we already see an increase in the prices for vegetable products,” stated Francis Lun who is the chief executive officer for Geo Securities in Hong Kong.

“In out of the blue, its status in Hong Kong as an international financial center would be impacted.”

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Florida woman pays $6,000 for Coronavirus and associated tests at AdventHealth.

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One day, your body starts aching. You begin to cough and can’t catch your breath. You have just returned from an overseas trip. You think you have the Coronavirus.

You do exactly what you are supposed to do. Reach out to your primary healthcare provider. The doctor tells you to go to a local hospital and get tested. So you get tested.

You are then hit with medical bills that exceed $6,000.

Sounds like a bad dream, right?

After receiving a test at AdventHealth, DeLand, a Volusia County resident, shared her medical bills with The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Due to the stigma associated with Coronavirus, the woman requested that her name be kept private. AdventHealth officials declined to comment on the newspaper’s request.

The woman said she didn’t know that testing would be so expensive. According to everything she read, she believed that the test was free. The ER visit and a series of unrelated tests she received led to a bill she is still trying to understand how to pay.

After undergoing coronavirus testing, a DeLand woman aged 23 received her initial bill from AdventHealth DeLand.

The 23-year-old DeLand woman said she felt fine after returning from Spain on March 17. After teaching English abroad, she returned to the United States after coronavirus cases began rising in Europe.

She said she had a headache and a fever the day she returned from Spain. After her fever had spiked, she called her family doctor on March 19, and they diagnosed her with a mild cough. She also began experiencing chest irritation.

AdventHealth DeLand was recommended to her. This was before coronavirus testing expanded throughout the state. The only option for testing was through the Florida Department of Health or local hospitals.

She said she was directed straight to the entrance for those who believed they might have COVID-19 when she arrived. The hospital staff performed various tests on her, including one for the flu and one for strep. A chest X-ray was also performed.

AdventHealth

The woman explained that she had only gone for the coronavirus test and that they did tests she didn’t request. They didn’t ask me questions about them or whether I wanted them. They said that they would do this, that, and this. I should have stated that I wouldn’t say I liked the other stuff. It was just something I felt had to be done.

The staff should have told her what it would cost or how much she would have to pay.

She said, “I assumed it would most likely be free because coronavirus testing was free.”

She was sent an invoice for $4,356.28 after her initial visit. She was charged for IV therapy, laboratory services, pharmacy, and emergency center fees. Because the bill did not include it, it is unclear if she was accused of coronavirus testing.

Three weeks later, she received a second bill for $1969 for ER physician services.

She said that she and her dad were frustrated. “Disbelief that coronavirus testing should be free, but it’s misleading that you go to the hospital and get tested. No one warns you or asks if it will cost you hundreds of thousands.”

AdventHealth was asked by The News-Journal why patients were receiving tests they did not request and why patients needed to be informed about the cost of the tests before they were performed. A spokesman JeffGrainger asked for the patient’s name, which The News-Journal gave him along with consent from the woman.

In the past two weeks, the newspaper made multiple unsuccessful attempts to obtain additional information from AdventHealth.

According to the woman, her father tried numerous times to contact AdventHealth to inquire about her bills.

She said Wednesday that Mike, AdventHealth’s customer service director, called her twice to get me to pay the bill. “He claimed that the coronavirus charge wasn’t on my bill, even though I only requested it at the hospital. I was not given a choice about the treatment I received.”

She said she must pay $871 of the first and second bills totaling $2,840. She claimed she had Spanish health insurance through her employer. However, the policy is no longer valid in the United States.

She stated that she was asking the hospital to review the charges and remove them.

She was even more frustrated when her coronavirus testing came back three days later.

Her 56-year-old mother and her 20-year-old brother, with whom she lived with her 64-year-old father, were tested at the Florida Department of Health office in Daytona Beach. They did not have to pay for the test, and they didn’t receive additional testing.

Holly Smith, the spokeswoman of the Volusia County FDOH office, said that “when the Department of Health conducts a testing, it is part of an epidemiological investigation.” This includes taking a history. It has no additional tests or exams and is free to the patient.

The mother of the woman tested positive for the virus. Although her brother was negative for the virus, they believe he may have contracted it while studying in London. Her father was not tested for the virus.

The woman believes she is fortunate, except for AdventHealth’s bill. She was able to stay at home throughout her illness. Her fever lasted only 24 hours. After being tested, she had only a slight cough and chest irritation for 12 days.

She said, “I feel fortunate, I suppose.” “It’s a very new virus, and they don’t know why some people are more affected than others.”

Her mother, however, had worse symptoms. She had a mild fever, cough, and fatigue for four days. Her symptoms lasted longer than those of her daughters.

She stated earlier that she was more concerned about her mom’s health since she had a positive test. “Mostly, I am worried about my parents.”

She advised others to verify the cost of testing at the beginning.

“I appreciated their thoroughness, but I didn’t anticipate how much it would cost.”

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