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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

Mask mandate and social distancing won’t return to Hong Kong: Lo Chung-mau

Mask mandate and social distancing won’t return to Hong Kong: Lo Chung-mau

Hong Kong has no plan to reestablish anti-Covid measures like the mask mandate or social distancing despite a rising infection number, said health chief Lo Chung-mau, as he noted 95 percent of citizens have caught Covid before or are vaccinated.
In a TV interview on Saturday, the Secretary for Health pointed to the rising trend of Covid infections, but said there are not that many cases involving the latest subvariant Arcturus.

He referred to recent monitoring figures that there are 40 percent more infections than the week before and estimated the infection number to be near ten thousands a day, surpassing the small jump seen in last August.

Yet, Lo stressed 95 percent of the population are inoculated against Covid-19 or have been infected before, saying that the immunity barrier remains strong to protect lives.

“People are now more capable of handling the pandemic and even if another wave of Covid peak comes in the spring or summer, we will be able to handle that as well.

“We don’t need non-medical social distancing measures, like the mask mandate mentioned before. Afterall, the mandate is a legislative means and will negatively impact social and economic activities,” Lo told the host.

Separately, government advisor Ivan Hung Fan-ngai said the Arcturus belongs to the Covid BA.2 stream and noted that many citizens were infected with Covid viruses under this BA.2 stream before.

Hung added the Arcturus subvariant is not that life-threatening and citizens’ immune system can handle the virus.
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