The Secretary for Food and Health says epidemic situation in HK is still not completely under control

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16th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) The government earlier stated that if the epidemic situation does not reverse significantly, it will lift the suspension of scheduled premises on the basis of the “vaccine bubble” as early as the fourth day of the Chinese New Year (4th February).

The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr.Sophie Chan, said in a TV program this morning (16th) that at present, many indicators show that the epidemic situation in Hong Kong is not completely under control. Therefore, for the sake of prudence, the extension of the 14-day epidemic prevention measures is necessary. Chan also pointed out that it is possible to predict whether there will be a significant reversal of the epidemic situation in Hong Kong in the future from various indicators, such as the immediate reproduction rate, the number of confirmed cases, the number of cases of unknown sources, the overall assessment situation, and whether there is still vertical transmission in buildings.

Chan continued to explain that in terms of case tracking, although there have been many restrictions and testing announcements every day in the past two weeks, more than 30 lockdown testings have been carried out, with 4 to 5 buildings per night. In terms of compulsory testing, more than 400 compulsory testing notices were issued and more than 1.1 million tests have been done, but the purpose of the above measures is to block the spread of the Omicron variant virus in the community, so that the epidemic will be under control.

When asked whether all the scheduled premises will be allowed to reopen or in stages, Chan said that it depends on the overall preparation of different scheduled premises for the expanded vaccine bubble. For example, everyone in the catering industry is looking forward to provision of dine-in services in the evenings.

She also pointed out on formulation of relevant policies after discussing with the catering industry earlier, and they are also very willing to cooperate with the expansion of the “vaccine bubble”. As for other premises, Chan said the relevant policy bureaus will contact them.

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