Wrong to cut quarantine period to seven days: expert - RTHK
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Wrong to cut quarantine period to seven days: expert

2021-08-16 HKT 11:06
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  • Ho Pak-leung says 14 days should be the minimum Covid quarantine period for arrivals. File photo: RTHK
    Ho Pak-leung says 14 days should be the minimum Covid quarantine period for arrivals. File photo: RTHK
A leading microbiologist, Ho Pak-leung, on Monday criticised the shortening of Covid-19 quarantine periods to seven days for vaccinated people arriving in Hong Kong, saying the move has created a "loophole" in the city's defences.

In recent days, a woman who flew in from the US was confirmed to have coronavirus days after completing her week-long quarantine. The domestic helper went to various places in Wan Chai and Stanley before testing positive.

"You can say the biggest loophole, or what went wrong in this incident, is that America was listed as a medium-risk place. It's completely inconceivable," Ho, from the University of Hong Kong, said on an RTHK radio programme.

"The epidemic there has rebounded for a month already. It's among the first or second countries with the most daily infections around the world."

Ho said the SAR government requires a full 21 days of quarantine for "high-risk countries" including Britain, India and Indonesia, so he thinks officials ought to know what they should be doing regarding the US.

He said it was wrong of Hong Kong to cut short the quarantine period to seven days, saying arrivals should at least go through 14 days of isolation.