Local expert says current epidemic not under control but govt measures are effective


15th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) Gabriel Leung, a government expert advisor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, said on a radio program today (15th) that the current epidemic cannot be described as being under control, but the epidemic prevention measures are effective. He explained that the immediate reproduction rate of the COVID-19 virus has been declining about 10 days ago, but it is definitely still above 1, and it is estimated to be between 1 and 2.5, which means that the infected person can pass it on to more than one person.

However, Leung said that compared with the basic reproduction rate without intervention, the average would be 8, which shows that the measures are effective in avoiding a “tsunami-like” outbreak. Leung said that he believes that confirmed cases in the community will still be found, so the government must continue with tracking and testing, hoping to cut off the chain of community transmission. The vaccination rate of the elderly over the age of 80 increased by 6 percentage points to about 26% in less than two weeks, which made the capacity of community vaccination centres face a bottleneck. He said that with the expansion of the vaccination group, it is expected that the manpower will be stressed, and the overall injection progress needs to be accelerated. He believes that the current vaccination rate of the elderly is not high, and it is recommended to use the tacit instruction method. If the elderly have been vaccinated against influenza and did not refuse to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 within the specified time, it will be regarded as tacit consent.