Local expert estimates as many as 20,000 elderly citizens will die due to COVID-19, current epidemic wave to last for a long time

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29th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) The COVID-19 epidemic is still severe in Hong Kong with more than 100 cases recorded in Hong Kong for 6 consecutive days. Experts say that the two mutant strains of Omicron and Delta have increased to at least 90 transmission chains in the community. Dr.Lau Yu-lung chairman of the Scientific Committee of Vaccine Preventable Diseases, said on the radio program this morning (29th) that the development of the epidemic has not yet reached the worst situation, and the number of confirmed cases announced yesterday (28th) was also lower than the previous day (27th), but according to the 7-day moving average analysis, we are still not out of the woods yet. He even described the Omicron virus as unstoppable, and the number of confirmed diagnoses will rise in a straight line sooner or later. He pointed out that the current vaccination rate in residential homes is only more than 10%. If the situation continues, it is estimated that thousands of elderly people may die due to the infection. In more severe cases, as many as 10,000 to 20,000 elderly people may be infected resulting in more deaths. They are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

As for the student clusters, he pointed out that the vaccination rate of more than 80% of high school students is still acceptable, but the vaccination rate of primary school students is still less than 5%. Lau also believes that the target of 90% vaccination rate should be based on the entire population of Hong Kong, that is, at least 5.2 million people must receive the first injection, and it is estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 doses of the vaccine will be administered every day before there is a chance to reach the 90% target by the end of March or beginning of April. A

Professor Wallace Lau Chaksing, President of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine said that the development of the epidemic is worrying. He believes that the current wave of the epidemic will last for a long time and may not subside in the next 1 to 2 months. He urged the public to avoid large gatherings.

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