Hong Kong unveils further steps to curb spread of virus

2022/01/11 16:58:00

Hong Kong unveils further steps to curb spread of virus

Hong Kong unveils further steps to curb spread of virus

City to shut schools and offer vaccines to children over five years old

11 January 2022 - 08:55 Jessie Pang and Marius Zaharia Carrie Lam.13 hours ago Shortened Isolation As Hong Kong’s hospitals and isolation venues fill up, officials said Monday they will allow close contacts of confirmed patients to quarantine for 14 days in government facilities, down from the previous 21 days.Residential property values in Hong Kong will fall by around 5% this year due to persistent population outflow and imminent interest rate increases, John Lam, head of China and Hong Kong real estate research at UBS, said in a media briefing Monday.13 hours ago Shortened Isolation As Hong Kong’s hospitals and isolation venues fill up, officials said Monday they will allow close contacts of confirmed patients to quarantine for 14 days in government facilities, down from the previous 21 days.

Picture: REUTERS/SHUBING WANG Hong Kong — Hong Kong will shut kindergartens and primary schools and start offering Covid-19 vaccines for children from the age of five, the city’s leader says, as the financial hub grapples with an increase in coronavirus infections.Certain passengers meanwhile will be banned from transiting through Hong Kong for a month, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.“The number of close contacts in isolation facilities are surging and cause big pressure,” said health official Chuang Shuk-kwan, adding that omicron cases typically develop more quickly, in about two to three days, after transmission.It comes as the Chinese-ruled city has seen some local transmissions of the Omicron coronavirus variant after three months of no local coronavirus cases at the end of last year.On top of the.Chief executive Carrie Lam told reporters in a weekly media briefing on Tuesday that kindergartens and primary schools must stop face-to-face classes from Friday until after the Lunar New Year at the beginning of February to prevent transmissions of the fast-spreading Omicron variant.About 800 people are waiting to enter the facilities, which would take up almost all available space, said Chuang.Schools had mostly resumed in-person classes late last year after months of online teaching.On Saturday, officials said discharged Covid-19 patients can serve 14-day compulsory isolation at home or other designated locations, without specifying what they might be.

Children over five will be able to get the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine, Lam said.Previously, recovered patients had to isolate in the government camp.Authorities have cleared the other vaccine available in Hong Kong, made by Germany's BioNTech, for children aged 12 and older.“I am optimistic and confident we can overcome the situation,” Lam said.One of those guests was later confirmed to be a false alarm, sparing many ministers and legislators from the isolation facility.Separately, Bloomberg News said Hong Kong’s international airport was set to ban transit by passengers from 150 designated high-risk places from January 15 to February 14, citing the unnamed sources.The ban will not apply to diplomats, government officials, athletes and staff participating in the Winter Olympics, which open on February 4 in Beijing, according to the report.30pm — when the two known cases arrived — hadn’t been exposed to the virus.30pm — when the two known cases arrived — hadn’t been exposed to the virus.

The city's transport and housing bureau did not immediately reply to a request for comment.Lam did not mention new air transit rules during her press conference..Hong Kong had already banned passenger flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Britain and the US in early January.Hong Kong is far behind other developed cities with its vaccination campaign.Less than 75% of eligible people have had a first dose, while just under 70% have had a second one.

About 8% have received a third.The city saw a three-month streak of no local coronavirus transmission until the end of last year.There have since been more than 40 local transmissions of the Omicron variant, with more than 4,000 people considered close contacts sent into government-mandated quarantine, Lam said.Lam said the government would also launch a new anti-epidemic relief fund, with details to be announced on Friday.The government had at least HK$4bn ($513m) available for new economic relief measures, she said.

Lam said a disciplinary investigation was still going on into the behaviour of 13 senior government officials who attended a birthday party for a delegate to China's legislature.Two of the party guests tested positive for the coronavirus.According to the latest findings, more than 200 people attended the party and the number might grow, Lam said.“This is the most unfortunate event because of the large number of people involved,” Lam said, adding the officials should have complied with her appeal for people to avoid large gatherings.Reuters.

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