The association said 98 percent of elderly homes in the city saw infections during the fifth wave, causing about 5,000 elderly deaths.

It said the current first jab rate for elderly at care homes is 68 percent, far from what is required to build a herd immunity barrier to protect elderly in a possible sixth wave of outbreaks.

Association chairman Kenneth Chan Chi-yuk said about 5,800 elderly in care homes or their family members refused to let them get vaccinated. Chan said he hopes the government can provide more information and vaccination options to reduce the number of people refusing the jabs.

The association also suggested the government set up a Covid command center where "the chief secretary for administration can coordinate different departments and make rapid responses to the outbreak," chief executive of the association Grace Li Fai said.

The association said in the short term, the government should relax restrictions on the arrival of foreign workers to make up for the chronic shortage of manpower at care homes, and in the long term establish vocational training schools.

It also suggested the establishment of residential care homes for elderly with Hong Kong expertise in the Greater Bay Area to provide more options for Hong Kong residents in the mainland.

The association noted that as of March 31, 26,709 people were on the waiting list for various types of subsidized residential care services for the elderly, with an average waiting time of 20 months.

The industry therefore recommended the government provide 6,000 residential care facilities for the elderly each year with a total of 30,000 residential care places in the next five years to achieve "zero waiting time."