'Zero COVID-19' strategy best for Hong Kong's current situation: Carrie Lam

2022-02-09 00:37:42Xinhua Editor : Wang Fan ECNS App Download

Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said on Tuesday that "zero COVID-19" is the best strategy for Hong Kong's current anti-epidemic situation.

Lam said the dynamic "zero infection" approach is in the public's interest as it protects public health and safety, stressing that Hong Kong should adhere to the anti-epidemic strategy to buy time for enhancing the vaccination rate, in order to avoid unbearable pressure on Hong Kong's hospitals.

Lam also unveiled a series of stringent anti-epidemic measures due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases.

Religious venues and hair salons will be closed from Feb. 10, and the current social distancing measures will be extended until Feb. 24.

The vaccine pass scheme will be effective from Feb. 24, where unvaccinated people will be banned from entering a list of venues specified in the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation. This list will be expanded to include shopping malls, wet markets and other markets, supermarkets, department stores, religious venues and hair salons.

The HKSAR government will also ban cross-family gatherings in private premises involving more than two households.

Close and secondary contacts of COVID-19 patients are subjected to home quarantine starting from Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong on Tuesday reported 625 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, taking the total tally of infections to 16,647, according to data from the Center for Health Protection.

The newly reported cases consist of four imported cases and 621 locally acquired cases, the center said.

Since the start of a mass inoculation program in February last year, about 5.44 million people, or 80.8 percent of the eligible population in Hong Kong, have taken at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccines, while over 4.9 million, or 72.8 percent of the eligible population, have taken two doses.

Meanwhile, more than 1.09 million people in Hong Kong have taken their third booster shots.


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