Local expert urges govt to tighten circuit breaker mechanism if 3 imported variant cases are recorded within 7 days


22nd July 2021 – (Hong Kong) The COVID-19 epidemic is raging around the world, and even more contagious variant viruses have appeared. The Director of the Centre for Infection and Infectious Diseases of the University of Hong Kong, Dr.Ho Pak-liang, said on the radio program this morning (22nd) that it is not appropriate to allow imported cases to enter the community simply relying on “luck”.

He believes that Hong Kong should enter the new epidemic prevention stage, it is recommended that the authorities activate the circuit breaker mechanism if 3 imported cases involving mutant viruses are recorded within 7 days.

He called on the government to immediately tighten the circuit breaker mechanism, and even more rigorously monitor the import of cases. He pointed out that the last time the authorities reviewed the circuit breaker mechanism was on 1st May, and there were 13 import cases in that month. 13 % involved variant viruses, but the proportion has soared to 66% last month, and as of the day before (20th) this month, it has risen to 85%. Most of the cases now carry the L452R variant virus strain, which is the Delta variant that is in a global outbreak virus. In addition, he cited data from a study that said that the death rate of the elderly who have not been vaccinated is 9.2%.

The death rate has been greatly reduced to 0.5% if 1 dose of vaccination has been given. If all 2 shots are received, it will be further reduced to 0.08%.

He believes that if the elderly are vaccinated with two doses of the Sinovac vaccine, the risk of death after being infected with the coronavirus will be greatly reduced. He continued that from January to May this year, about 300,000 elderly people over 75 years of age were vaccinated in the state of Ceará in northeastern Brazil. The immunisation rate for the elderly is nearly 90%, of which 55% are vaccinated with Sinovac and the rest were vaccinated with AstraZeneca. .