Local expert says HK is in a ‘post-vaccination wave” and recommends use of oral drugs to reduce hospitalisations

Ho Pak-leung

7th July 2022 – (Hong Kong) The number of new COVID-19 cases in recent days has approached the 3,000 mark. Local infection cases in BA.4 or BA.5 accounted for 1%, reflecting high transmission, with more than 100 hospital admissions per day. If the number continues to increase, general medical services may be hindered. Ho Pak-leung, director of the Centre for Infection and Infectious Diseases of the University of Hong Kong, said on a radio program this morning (7th) that Hong Kong is currently in a “post-vaccination wave”, and the increase in hospitalisations is expected.

He believes that oral drugs for COVID-19 treatment can effectively reduce the chance of severe hospitalisation. The effective rate of oral medicines reaches 90%. It is suggested that the authorities can formulate effectiveness indicators to ensure that at least 80% of the diagnosed patients over the age of 60 can relieve their symptoms by taking oral medicines. In addition to increasing the use rate of oral drugs, Ho also suggested increasing the vaccination of the elderly to establish a safety net to ensure that the Hospital Authority can cope with the number of hospitalisations and severe cases. He also quoted data that more than 80% of the severe and hospitalised cases were over the age of 60, and 90% of the deaths were over the age of 60. However, the vaccination rate of the relevant groups was about 60%, and 300,000 of them have not yet been vaccinated with the third dose.