It is also reviewing its capacity and manpower to cope with the fifth wave, which breaks at a time when the public hospital system is already strained by the winter season of influenza.

The community treatment facility will treat patients with mild symptoms and allow public hospitals to focus on caring for the more severe patients.

Ko said that most of the current patients are confirmed with the more transmissible Omicron variant and are expected to remain hospitalized longer.

"If there were 40 to 50 new cases daily later, the demand for isolation beds would become very high after 4 to 5 days," he said. "As it has shown in foreign countries, the number of cases may increase 'geometrically' or 'tsunami-like', according to experts."

He said that the authorities will review the supply of first-line isolation beds in public hospitals but still need to cope with the winter surge of influenza, adding that the utilization rate of inpatient beds in many hospitals has exceeded 100 percent.

Officials also urged the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the city has a steady supply of jabs.

Many community vaccination centers are running at their full capacities.

A mobile jab station administering the BioNTech vaccine will be introduced at Wong Tai Sin Temple Square for three consecutive days starting Friday, the government announced on Wednesday.

Walk-in vaccinations are welcomed at the stations, which will operate from 10am to 5pm each day. The last on-site registration time is 4.30pm.

The procedures for receiving vaccination at the stations are the same as those in community vaccination centers. There will be temporary waiting and resting areas at open spaces next to the mobile stations and free medical consultation services will be available for people who are planning to get vaccinated on the spot.

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the spreading threat posed by mutant virus strains is a looming risk to Hong Kong.

“Persons who are yet to receive vaccination should get vaccinated immediately, and persons who are eligible for a third dose should make reservations and receive vaccination as early as possible,” said Nip.

He also added that authorities will closely monitor the situation including the demand for vaccination and will make suitable adjustments.

Members of the public can refer to the designated website for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme for the service schedule of the Mobile Vaccination Stations (www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/pdf/List_Mobile_Vaccination_Station_ENG.pdf), which will be updated from time to time.