RTHK Interview : Start Covid medicines even before hospitalisation

'Start Covid medicines even before hospitalisation'   The Hong Kong Doctors Union has called for early treatment for Covid-19 patients, saying they should be prescribed medication even before being admitted to hospital. The union’s president, Henry Yeung, made the comment as authorities said some 100 confirmed cases are still waiting to be admitted, with the public health system under great pressure. Yeung said timely treatment is essential in reducing the mortality rate associated with Covid-19. He told RTHK’s Priscilla Ng that it is important to prescribe patients with the right medication as soon as possible to reduce their viral load and ease their symptoms. “If we cannot admit the patient to hospital, why should he wait until he goes to the hospital to get the treatment? The doctors in the community can prescribe the drugs for the patients to take inside his home and the patient can be visited by the community doctor either physically or by telemedicine. We have to get the patient to have early treatment to get the best results,” Yeung said. He added that treating patients early is also conducive to severing the transmission chain in their household and the community. “If you can give the early treatment, then we can decrease his viral load and decrease the chance of cross-infection in the community,” he added. A top microbiologist from the University of Hong Kong, Ho Pak-leung, also told an RTHK programme that the situation is “far from ideal”, saying the long wait could lead to delayed treatment and could greatly increase the risk of cross-infection. His comment was echoed by a Sha Tin district councillor, Yau Man-chun, who told the same programme that an infected resident’s condition deteriorated significantly after having waited for more than three days before being taken to the hospital.   Click here for the recording