A 21-year-old man who was shot in the abdomen by police in Sai Wan Ho was in a critical condition on Monday afternoon after undergoing surgery for liver and kidney injuries.

Several hours after the shooting, he had been transferred to the intensive care unit at Eastern Hospital, which was heavily guarded by armed officers.

The man was shot at the intersection of Shing On Street and Tai Shek Street just before 8am after masked protesters threw objects onto the road there. He didn’t appear to be armed.

Dozens of members of staff at the hospital staged a protest in the lobby over what they said had been a series of brutal police attacks against protesters.

The Hospital Authority issued a statement urging people not to demonstrate on hospital grounds, saying such action could undermine the quality of treatment offered to patients.

The police, meanwhile, denied online rumours that management had ordered frontline officers to use their firearms as much as they liked during Monday’s dispersal and arrest operations.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the police called the allegation “totally false and malicious”.

They said officers have strict guidelines and orders regarding the use of firearms, adding that all police officers are required to justify their enforcement actions.

The force also called on protesters to remain calm and rational, saying they should stop any acts that threaten others’ safety and refrain from obstructing police.