Beetle infestation at new Hong Kong hospital

Architectural Services Department called in to help after pests found in 71 wooden cabinets

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 August, 2017, 8:33am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 August, 2017, 8:33am

The new Tin Shui Wai Hospital has been plagued by an infestation of brown scavenger beetles, it emerged on Friday.

They first appeared in a wooden cabinet in February, barely a month after the opening launch, prompting hospital bosses to order pest control, deep cleaning measures and removal of the cabinet. But the bugs were found in another cabinet in March.

Inspections then revealed that 71 of 465 cabinets, used to store documents and general utensils, had been affected. These were replaced and the problem had been contained.

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Although there was no danger of the beetles spreading disease, they might have irritated patients, staff and visitors suffering respiratory allergies. The pests thrive in moist and fungi-infested environments.

The Architectural Services Department, which was called in to remove the cabinets, said new ones would be installed and it would carry out inspections to prevent similar incidents.

Tin Shui Wai Hospital, which serves the public sector, said it had informed Hospital Authority headquarters about the problem and the remedy while a task force would be appointed to supervise and monitor the issue.