Expert urges no more tightening of measures though daily cases may reach 20,000

Hong Kong may see daily cases of Covid-19 logging 20,000, but it is not appropriate for further tightened disease prevention measures, claimed a government epidemic advisor.

Lau Yu-lung, chair professor of paediatrics at the University of Hong Kong, said on Monday that the anti-epidemic rules should not ‘go backwards’ to be tightened again.

“The currently applied ‘3+4’ format for inbound travellers lead no negative effect to the city for increasing imported cases”, he noted on a TV programme, “which should not be tightened.”

Hong Kong logged 9,708 Covid cases on Sunday as people infected with the variant of virus BA.4/5 became dominant, accounting for nearly 50 percent of all the patients.

Taking Singapore as an example, Lau predicted the daily cases might reach a peak when the infected rate of BA.4/5 breaches 80 to 90 percent - with around 12,000 to 20,000 confirmed patients every day - and then starts to fall.

Besides, Lau showed disagreement with the policy of suspending face-to-face classes in schools from his standpoint as a professor at the university.

“It is acceptable to restart the full-day class if 90 percent of students on the campus get two doses of vaccines,” Lau claimed. “The schools need to enhance students’ willingness to get their jabs rather than restrict their outdoor activities.”

A lawmaker from the education sector Chu Kwok-keung showed approval of Lau’s opinion, saying face-to-face mode of classes will not contribute to the spread of the virus.

“Students are required to do RAT every day before entering the campus,” he said, “it is not necessary to suspend lessons in the whole school even if a few classes reported Covid cases.”

Secretary for Education Choi Yuk-lin said last week to issue the half-day-class mode under the current Covid situation, warning the daily Covid cases will reach 10,000.