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Hong Kong doctor battles fear and separation on virus ‘dirty team’

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Hong Kong doctor battles fear and separation on virus 'dirty team'

Alfred Wong works on the isolation ward at a Hong Kong hospital treating possible coronavirus patients and is desperate to avoid infecting his pregnant wife HONG KONG – After gruelling shifts treating coronavirus patients, Hong Kong doctor Alfred Wong often finds himself alone in a hotel room eating takeaway, battling the pain of being separated from his pregnant wife.

The 38-year-old volunteered to join staff on isolation wards — dubbed "the dirty team" — to avoid the risk of being called up later and missing his daughter’s birth in two months’ time.

While he is on the team, he has decided to keep contact with loved ones down to a minimum.

"All I can do now is to try my best to protect myself and stay away from everyone — my family and my friends," he told AFP.

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Since joining the team in early February, Wong has stayed at a hotel within walking distance of his hospital and shaved his hair into crew-cut, a way to reduce gaps in protective clothing.

Sometimes he picks up homemade box meals that his wife leaves on the doorstep of their home.

"The best gift I can give is perhaps a living husband," Wong joked wryly, rubbing hands that had become itchy from being washed so regularly.Wong and his wife are hoping to find a quiet restaurant and sit at different tables within eyesight of one another as their Valentines’ meal.Hundreds of doctors and nurses like Wong are going through similar family separations as they battle a virus that […]

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