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Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

Daily infections may drop to double-digit, but hardly zero

Daily infections may drop to double-digit, but hardly zero

The daily infection caseload may drop until it reaches double-digits, but it will be hard to achieve an absolute zero infection, infectious disease expert Ivan Hung Fan-ngai said on Sunday.
The expert from the University of Hong Kong said there could be a slight rebound in the number of cases after Easter, but the overall caseload will continue on its downward trend and eventually reach double digits.

Although it will be difficult to flush out all Covid cases, citizens need not worry too much as long as the city's vaccination rate is high. He called upon children and elderly to get jabbed as soon as possible.

As for whether the government should implement citywide mandatory testing, Hung said it is a matter of cost efficiency.

With infections going down fast, mass testings will only identify several thousand cases. Authorities have to consider if they want to spend significant resources and manpower to achieve their goal.

He added that it might not be safe to ask unvaccinated elderly and children to join long queues when undergoing mass testing.

On the other hand, Hung said around 3 percent of local patients from the fourth local wave suffered from long Covid, a proportion much lower than the overseas ratio of 10 to 20 percent.

The lower ratio was given by local patients being sent to hospitals at an early stage, he explained.

"Long Covid" means when people continue to see symptoms weeks or months after the infection has gone.

Common symptoms include extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain, brain fog, heart palpitations, joint pain, depression and anxiety, earache, and diarrhea, among others.

Meanwhile, both Sinovac and Sinopharm are developing second generation Covid vaccines which can target the Omicron variant more effectively.

A total of 1,800 people will be recruited in Hong Kong to join studies, among which half would have received two to three Sinovac jabs and another half would have received BioNTech vaccines.

Researchers will compare the effectiveness of first and second generation booster jabs. Studies should start in mid May, and is aiming to finish in half a year.
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