Further monitoring of Covid situation needed to confirm subsiding trend, health expert says

Two more weeks of monitoring would be needed before health authorities could make any judgment on the epidemic trend, said Joseph Tsang Kay-yan, chairperson of the Medical Association’s advisory committee on communicable diseases.

Speaking on a radio program Wednesday morning, the health expert said the recent drop in the daily infection tally could be a result of fewer people getting tested during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.

On Tuesday, health officials reported 7,218 coronavirus infections, taking the city’s overall tally to 1,667,130, with 9,820 related fatalities. The number of new cases has fallen every day since Thursday, when 11,091 were logged, with some health experts in Hong Kong suggesting the city’s epidemic had peaked.

Tsang said if the local case tally rebounded back to the near 10,000 mark in the coming days, it means that the recent drop is only caused by the holiday effect.

Government pandemic expert David Hui Shu-cheong said earlier that the holiday effect may take a few days to surface after cross-family gatherings have taken place over the weekend, whereas daily testing for schoolchildren has also stopped.

Commenting on the possible easing of the city’s quarantine measures for inbound travelers, Tsang noted that the focus should not be on the length of the quarantine or medical surveillance.

Instead, authorities should ensure that arrivals comply with the Covid rules - including wearing the wristband, staying at home for isolation, and undergoing nucleic acid tests as required.