COVID-19 cases expected to rise to low 4 digits in next 1-2 weeks but no exponential growth similar to fifth wave

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Assistant Professor Kwok Kin-on, Assistant Professor, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care

16th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) The epidemic in Hong Kong has eased, but some experts expect that the fifth wave will rebound at the end. Assistant Professor Kwok Kin-on, Assistant Professor, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care said in a radio program today (16th) that since the relaxation of social distancing measures in March, the travel index of citizens has rebounded to the pre-epidemic level, the immediate reproduction rate of the virus has risen to around 0.8 – 1. It is expected that there will be a fifth wave of the epidemic in the next one to two weeks, and the confirmed cases may rise to low 4 digits, but there will be no exponential growth in cases similar to fifth wave.

Kwok Kin-on said that millions of people have been diagnosed in Hong Kong. In addition to the protection offered by the 3rd vaccination shot, the community has built a herd immunity.

Even if the community activities increase, it is expected that the confirmed cases will remain at the level between 200 and 300 cases. The sixth wave of the epidemic will occur only when the herd immunity drops, or when a new variant of the virus emerges. At present, after restaurants started evening dine-in services, the cluster infection cases only account for a small number of the overall cases, and social distancing measures do not need to be significantly adjusted at present unless there are more clusters outbreaks. Some experts believe that the requirements for vaccine passports for adults under the age of 60 should be relaxed. Kwok believes that many citizens work in high-risk groups, hence, it is necessary to maintain vaccine passports due to public health and economic development.

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