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1 imported case reported as health experts declare end of 4th wave

29 May 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Yuen says HK has attained zero local infection in past 28 days

Health officials have today declared the end of the fourth wave of the coronavirus infections in Hong Kong, as they reclassified five cases originally classified as “probably local” to imported, after tests showed the patients had been infected overseas for some time, but were not detected early.

Only one imported case was recorded today, involving a 42-year-old female returnee from Indonesia who tested positive on her 7th-day sample while in hotel quarantine.

Speaking at a press conference following a meeting at the Centre for Health Protection, government expert Prof. Yuen Kwok-yung said Hong Kong has already met its target of 28 days without any untraceable local cases.


Yuen said that five cases initially considered local, involving four foreign domestic helpers and a construction worker who were found infected long after they ended their 21-day hotel quarantine, had caught the virus overseas at least two months ago.

Four of the patients tested positive during the second round of compulsory testing for all FDHs. Two of them are Indonesians aged 29 and 39 years old, respectively; while the other two are Filipinas aged 37 and 46, who were also found to carry the mutant N501Y strain.

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The fifth is a 43-year-old Pakistani who works at the Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin tunnel construction site.

All arrived in Hong Kong from various places between Feb 20 to Apr 25, and tested negative on all Covid-19 tests given them while they were under hotel quarantine.


After discounting these cases, CHP’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said the last local infection was therefore recorded on Apr 23. 

Yuen said that meant that Hong Kong had already passed the threshold of 28 consecutive days without untraceable local cases, signifying an end to the fourth wave of coronavirus infections.

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 “I do think we actually have achieved it,” said Yuen.

HK should have 80% vaccination rate to head off a 5th wave, says Yuen

But he was quick to warn residents not to bring their guards down, and instead prepare for a possible fifth wave of infections, which he said could come “in just a matter of time.”

To prepare for the likely surge in cases, he said Hong Kong should get its vaccination rate above 80 percent, test anyone with mild symptoms, maintain its rapid contact tracing system, and improve indoor ventilation.

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People should continue to wear masks in public, and incoming travelers should be fully vaccinated.

But at the same time, he said those who have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine should be allowed to move around more freely.

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Schools should be kept open, with those who are vaccinated being allowed to attend face-to-face classes, and those who haven’t had a jab attending online classes.

Restaurants should also be allowed to operate at extended periods, with vaccinated people being allowed to dine in any time. Those who are unvaccinated should only be allowed to eat in during lunchtime, Yuen said.

There should also be no evacuation of vaccinated people if a vertical transmission of the virus is found in a building, he said. But those who chose not to get the jabs should still be sent to quarantine.

Yuen said the fourth wave could have ended sooner than the six months that it lasted had specific counter-measures been put in place at crucial times.


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