Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Children should not wear masks in class, Hong Kong pandemic adviser says

Children should not wear masks in class, Hong Kong pandemic adviser says

Professor Ivan Hung says young learners will struggle to imitate teachers’ mouth movements when pronouncing words if they wore masks.

Children should not wear masks in classrooms as they can hinder speech development, a government pandemic adviser has said, adding that vaccination and good personal hygiene are the best defences against Covid-19 and other respiratory infections.

Professor Ivan Hung Fan-ngai from the University of Hong Kong on Saturday also said high-risk residents who had not contracted Covid-19 or been inoculated against the virus in the past six months should get a booster.

Hong Kong on Wednesday became one of the last places in the world to lift a mandate requiring masks in public places, although many pupils were not ready to give up the face coverings as they feared the return of the virus.

Professor Ivan Hung urges young learners to stop wearing face masks in classrooms.

The Education Bureau’s health protection guidelines for schools updated on Tuesday said “wearing masks can effectively reduce the risk of viral transmission” and that parents could continue to put them on their children “if necessary”.

But Hung argued on a radio programme that masking in classrooms might hinder the language development of young learners, as they would not be able to imitate teachers’ mouth movements when pronouncing words.

“[Children] must be able to see the mouth to see the articulation for their speech development,” he said. “Therefore, we really hope they take their masks off.”

The infectious disease specialist also supported scrapping the rapid antigen testing requirement for pupils, saying the best protection for children against Covid-19 and the flu was the maintenance of good personal hygiene and vaccinations.

“Since they have been wearing masks for three years, many young children have not had a chance to be exposed to upper respiratory viruses,” he said. “It’s important to immunise them through vaccination.”

Students from Tsz Wan Shan Catholic Primary School heading to class on the first day after the lifting of the mask mandate.

He added the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases would also consider outlining Covid-19 vaccination timelines for elderly and other high-risk residents, who might need to receive another booster if they were last infected or vaccinated more than six months ago – regardless of how many jabs they had received.

Citing recommendations from health agencies in other jurisdictions, he added low-risk adults might only need a booster once a year.

Hung said that while he had recently observed a small uptick in hospital admissions due to upper respiratory tract infections, the situation was stable overall.

“This time last year, we were taking care of more than 200 patients. We have about a dozen now,” he said, referring to the influx of patients during the city’s fifth wave of Covid-19 infections.

He added lifting the mask mandate was very timely, as the warmer weather would limit any potential flu outbreaks.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.