Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he knows the stay-at-home, work-from-home order is difficult for many Oahu residents, but he said the city is at “war” in the fight against coronavirus.
Speaking this morning on Spotlight Hawaii, Caldwell said he recently visited the Queen’s Medical Center, where nurses and doctors told him that those who recover from the virus can still suffer long-term consequences.
“They say they’re seeing more and more patients from early on, in March and April, that have lingering side effects. An inability to breathe well, they can’t run, they can’t walk upstairs, they get out of breath. They have what’s called ‘brain fog,’” Caldwell said. “People are having strokes and blood clots. That there’s clots in your lung and legs. And they think some of these could be permanent long lasting effects.”
Caldwell continued, “It’s not just about saving lives, it’s about protecting your population who could have long, long term, if not permanent effects, even if they recover, and even if they’re young.”
In parternship with the state and federal government, the city will be administering thousands of additional tests, to get a handle on the virus and stop the spread, including mass testing at the Aloha Stadium and H-3 freeway.
Caldwell said he awaiting for word from the state Department of Health on potentially adding several hundred more contact tracers. Caldwell would like to increase that workforce immediately, but cannot do so without approval from health officials.
Caldwell said he hopes the lockdown will not have to continue beyond the current 14-day order, but the number of cases will ultimately determine what happens next.
“Let make sure we can bring the number of cases down and then we can start to open up in a more thoughtful, protected way, all of us working together,” he said.
Spotlight Hawaii, which shines a light on issues affecting Hawaii, airs live 10:30 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Join Ryan Kalei Tsuji and Yunji de Nies this month for a conversation about the economy. Click here to watch previous conversations.