Put UK on 'very high-risk' Covid list, expert urges - RTHK
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Put UK on 'very high-risk' Covid list, expert urges

2021-06-23 HKT 12:05
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  • Leading microbiologist Ho Pak-leung says many unvaccinated young people in the UK are infected with the Delta variant of Covid-19 recently. File Photo: RTHK
    Leading microbiologist Ho Pak-leung says many unvaccinated young people in the UK are infected with the Delta variant of Covid-19 recently. File Photo: RTHK
Wendy Wong reports
An infectious disease expert on Wednesday urged the government put the UK back on a list of very high-risk countries and quarantine arrivals from there for 21 days even if they are vaccinated against Covid-19.

Microbiologist Ho Pak-leung from the University of Hong Kong said the number of coronavirus cases in the UK was surging, with the majority of patients carrying the highly transmissible Delta variant.

He warned that students returning to the SAR during the summer holiday could cause another wave of infections.

The government is planning to shorten the quarantine period of vaccinated travellers from overseas, including the UK, to seven days, if they are fully vaccinated and test positive for antibodies against Covid-19.

But Ho said the move would be very risky.

Speaking on a radio programme, he said Hong Kong students currently studying in the UK are at high risk of being infected as many of them have not been vaccinated.

He added that even those who have taken the AstraZeneca vaccine might be at risk, as the jabs were only 60 percent effective in preventing symptomatic infections.

“Last year, we already saw a Covid-19 outbreak caused by students returning from overseas. Now we have enough designated quarantine hotels. Why are we shortening the quarantine period?” he asked.

“Some cases could be leaked into the community and break the streak of zero infections that we've worked very hard to achieve,” he warned.