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Experts give up on herd immunity as 5 new Covid-19 cases reported

25 August 2021

By The SUN 

The Filipina had 2 Covid-19 jabs in HK before she left for the Philippines  

A Filipina resident fully vaccinated in Hong Kong is among five Covid-19 cases reported today, Aug 25, all of them imported.

The newly confirmed cases also include three babies who tested positive for the L452R mutant strain of the coronavirus, and a woman from Pakistan.

The 44-year-old Filipina was found infected on Day 3 of her quarantine at Silka Seaview Hotel in Yaumatei. She is asymptomatic but the result of her variant test is still pending.


The woman had received two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Hong Kong on Mar 21 and Apr 11 before she went home, the Centre for Health Protection said.

She was the second arrival from Manila who tested positive for Covid-19 after Hong Kong lifted its ban on passenger flights from the Philippines and other high-risk countries on Aug. 9.

Three days ago, a seaman who received the full single dose of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine in the Philippines tested positive on arrival at Hong Kong airport.

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The only adult patient reported today is a 61-year-old woman who flew in from Pakistan via Dubai on Aug 18 and stayed at Ramada Grand Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. She tested positive on her 7th day test, but the result of her variant test is still pending. 

She received two Sinopharm jabs in Pakistan Apr 30 and May 23. 

Two of the infected babies today, both boys aged 1 and 2, traveled from Pakistan via Dubai and Bangkok on Aug 22 with a group including five women and men who were all found to carry the L452R variant on arrival test.


A third baby patient, a girl aged 3, flew in with her parents from France on Aug 19. She was found infected with the L452R variant on her Day 3 test while in quarantine at Sheraton Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. Both her parents have tested tested negative.

The five new infections raised Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally to 12,075.

Meanwhile, the CHP said it was notified of a confirmed case in the United Kingdom involving a 42-year-old woman who left Hong Kong on Aug 13. Her specimen collected on Aug 16 tested positive and she remains asymptomatic.

The CHP said it is following up the case with UK health authorities.

Meanwhile, Wing Cheung House at Sui Wo Court in Sha Tin where the woman lived during the incubation period will be put under a compulsory testing notice.

Yuen and his team say herd immunity is no longer achievable 

Earlier today, microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung and his team from the University of Hong Kong has urged the city to keep its zero-Covid strategy for the time being, even as they suggested herd immunity is no longer achievable because of the spread of the Delta variant.

In an article published in the Ming Pao Daily, the group said the threshold for herd immunity has risen greatly because the Delta variant is transmitted even among inoculated people.

They said that previously, herd immunity could be achieved if 70% of people in the community were vaccinated with BioNTech jabs, which have a 95% efficacy rate.

With Delta’s high transmissibility the threshold has risen to 97.4%.

If Sinovac, which has a lower efficacy, is used in the calculation. the vaccination rate should be 142.9%, which the team said is unachievable.

As the virus continues to mutate and becomes more transmissible, they said achieving herd immunity would be even more impossible, like “building a castle in the sky.”

They said Hong Kong should stick to a zero-Covid target to buy time to vaccinate everyone as quickly as possible to take advantage of this “zero infection” window and prevent serious complications and deaths.


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