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Infected cases down to 8 as officials hint of more vaccine incentives

20 March 2021

By The SUN 

Dr Chan says vaccinated people may be allowed hospital visits

Hong Kong’s Covid-19 tally dropped to eight today, Mar 20, the first time in over a week that it fell to single-digits. They brought the city’s infection count to 11,371.

Only one of the cases was imported, and involved a Filipina domestic worker who arrived in Hong Kong on Mar 7 on board Cebu Pacific flight 5J 272, and tested positive on her 12th day in hotel quarantine. She was found to carry the more infectious N501Y strain of the coronavirus.

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Of the seven local cases, one was from an unknown source, involving a 42-year-old carpenter who lives in Caroline Hill Court in Causeway Bay.

The six others were linked to previous infections, including one who lives on Tai Hang Road in Causeway Bay, another in Wah Mansions in Mid Levels, a third in Ping Tin Estate in Lam Tin, and the fourth in Wah Sum Estate in Fan Ling. No addresses were listed for the two others.

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Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sophia Chan has said that the government will consider introducing some incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

These may include allowing those who have received a vaccine to enter certain premises, to visit care homes and hospitals, or to be exempt from other social distancing measures.


Dr Chan also said during a radio program that travel benefits could also be offered, but destination places might be willing to relax restrictions with Hong Kong only if it had a higher vaccination rate.

Dr Hui says many gathering rules may be relaxed if vaccination rate goes up to 50% 

Infectious disease expert David Hui, who was also on the show, said Hong Kong's vaccination rate was only around 4 percent. He said if this went up to 50 percent, many of the social distancing measures could be relaxed.

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Dr Hui also played down concerns over the death yesterday of a 66-year-old man, three days after he received a BioNtech shot, saying it was unlikely that the patient’s death was linked to his vaccination.

He said it was more likely that the man had died because of a cardiovascular disease, but added that the experts panel advising the government on its vaccination program is still doing further investigation. 


The case was the first to be reported in Hong Kong of a patient dying after taking the German-made vaccine.

After the show, Chan said the Hong Kong government is monitoring reports of potential side-effects in a small number of people who have received the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine.


The vaccine is the third to be procured by Hong Kong after Sinovac and BioNTech, and is due to arrive in the city in the second half of the year.

Some European countries had suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this month after reports of blood clots among a number of people who had taken it.

But vaccinations have since resumed after both the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization said it was safe.

The WHO said in a statement released on Wednesday that reports of potential side effects merely showed that the surveillance system was working, but did not necessarily mean that the events are linked to vaccination. The global health group said people developed blood clots all the time.


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