Microbiologist says HK needs 90% vaccination rate - RTHK
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Microbiologist says HK needs 90% vaccination rate

2021-07-25 HKT 16:21
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  • Microbiologist says HK needs 90% vaccination rate
Top microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung has warned that Hong Kong was not out of the woods yet despite going another day without any local infection, as he urged the public achieve a vaccination rate of more than 90 percent for social distancing measures to be further relaxed.

Officials had earlier said that Hong Kong needed a vaccination rate of at least 70 percent to achieve herd immunity.

But Yuen said that was not enough to keep the coronavirus at bay.

"You need more than 90 percent to be safe," he told reporters on Sunday after attending a seminar.

"It's not safe even if you reach a vaccination rate of 70 percent, because that means you have 30 percent of the population not yet inoculated, that's over two million people, there could still be major outbreaks," warned the government adviser.

Yuen noted that there had recently been imported cases slipping into the community but that Hong Kong had been able to avoid a new major outbreak due to face mask wearing, hand hygiene, and improved contact tracing capabilities.

The University of Hong Kong professor was speaking as the city reported three newly confirmed Covid cases - all of them arrivals from overseas.

One of the patients, who had been to Spain, Greece, Italy and Switzerland this month, had received two doses of the Moderna vaccine in March.

The other two were seafarers who had arrived from Russia and Tanzania.

Professor Yuen also said he didn't think Hong Kong needed to extend its quarantine period for fully-vaccinated travellers from low-risk places.

Currently, arrivals from the mainland, Macau, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, need only do seven days of quarantine if they can prove they have had two vaccine doses.

Professor Yuen said most positive cases in such people would be found within the first seven days.