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World NewsHong Kong has to keep zero-Covid policy for now: Government advisor

Hong Kong has to keep zero-Covid policy for now: Government advisor

Hong Kong wants to stick to its zero-Covid technique till extra persons are vaccinated, a authorities advisor instructed CNBC on Wednesday.

“If 95% of our eligible population are being vaccinated fully with three doses, then the chance is that we are able to open our border,” stated Yuen Kwok-yung, who’s a part of Hong Kong’s skilled advisory panel for Covid-19.

The Chinese metropolis is way from reaching that focus on. Only 68.6% of the overall inhabitants has obtained two doses of a vaccine as of Wednesday, according to government data. Some 322,781 folks, or round 4.4% of the inhabitants, have obtained their third shot.

One manner to enhance vaccination charges could be to require a vaccine passport to go about every day life, stated Yuen, who can also be head of the division of microbiology on the University of Hong Kong.

“Perhaps that is [the] only way, like Israel, to ensure that a high vaccination rate will be achieved,” he stated. Fully vaccinated folks in Israel are issued a “green pass” that allows them to enter indoor venues such as restaurants, gyms and cinemas.

Zero-Covid technique

For now, Hong Kong can not swap methods, Yuen instructed CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

“At this stage in time, it’s the same. We must continue with our present near-zero policy,” he said.

Hong Kong requires people entering the city to quarantine for up to 21 days and take multiple Covid-19 tests, measures Yuen stated are obligatory to management the supply of infections.

But town’s zero-Covid strategy can also be the primary frustration for overseas companies working there, an analyst instructed CNBC on Tuesday.

Yuen stated, nonetheless, town would not intend to keep zero-Covid in place indefinitely, simply till it reaches “sufficient” vaccination charges.

“It’s impossible to maintain it for more than three years,” he added. “I think that for the coming years, the government has to set a deadline when everybody have to have a vaccine pass … to go around.”

Vaccination is required for some activities in Hong Kong, however the limits on unvaccinated persons are far more relaxed than in locations corresponding to Israel and Singapore.

Hong Kong has reported 12,548 confirmed Covid circumstances because the starting of the pandemic, together with 34 circumstances of the omicron variant, according to government data as of Wednesday.

— CNBC’s Weizhen Tan contributed to this report.

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