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2022-09-13 HKT 11:44
A respiratory medicine expert said on Tuesday that the recent surge in Covid-19 infections may have peaked a few days ago, and urged the government to start considering relaxing infection-control measures.
Dr Leung Chi-chiu noted that as the more transmissible BA.5 variant dominates infections in Hong Kong, other variants can no longer spread easily.
At the same time, he said data suggested that the transmission of BA.5 itself is also slowing down in the past week, so the outbreak may already have peaked on September 9.
Leung pointed out that the large number of BA.4 or BA.5 infections could provide herd immunity against the risk brought by imported cases.
He said when hospitalisation numbers begin to drop, and when air traffic become less busy in the coming month or two, authorities can consider relaxing social-distancing rules and quarantine requirements for inbound travelers.
“Why did we have to prevent imported cases? It was because there was a difference in our epidemic situation. But as this outbreak eases, we can be quite sure that our daily infection rate and the dominant variants are the same with other places,” he said, adding that border control measures will no longer be meaningful unless other more dangerous variants emerge elsewhere.
“In fact, if the epidemic situation is the same on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon, there’s no reason to stop people from crossing from one place to the other.”