Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK sees 2 cases, to keep 21 jab centers open until yearend

People walk through Exchange Square in the Central district of Hong Kong on July 26, 2021. (ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported two new imported COVID-19 infections on Thursday, including one mutant variant case, as the government decided to extend the operations of 21 community vaccination centers until the end of the year.

The Centre for Health Protection said in a statement that the new patients included a 33-year-old woman from the Philippines and a 56 year-old-man who traveled to the United States and came back positive for the L452R mutant strain. The city's tally stood at 12, 133.

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the government has decided to extend the operations of 21 community vaccination centers to encourage more residents, particularly the elderly, to take their jabs

The man, who lives at Amber Garden, 110 Blue Pool Road, Happy Valley, left for the US on Aug 18 after testing negative for the virus.

He returned to the city on Sept 7 and his specimen collected upon arrival at the airport showed that he had the mutant strain “but does not carry the N501Y or E484K mutant genes,” the CHP said.

He works at Room 602, 6/F, Tesbury Centre, 28 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, and last went to work on August 17, it added.

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The CHP said the buildings where he resided and worked during the incubation period have been included in a compulsory testing notice. 

The male patient was vaccinated in Hong Kong on April 10 and May 1 while the woman from the Philippines got her vaccine shots in that country on July 1 and July 22. 

The CHP added that a total of 62 cases were reported in Hong Kong from Aug 26 to Sept 8, all of them imported.

Meanwhile, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the government has decided to extend the operations of 21 community vaccination centers to encourage more residents, particularly the elderly, to take their jabs.

“These 21 centers will continue to provide services for the first dose in October and November. In December, they will only administer the second dose,” Nip said.

ALSO READ: HK logs 2 cases, replaces deep-throat saliva tests with swabs

Nip said these centers will be open from 10 am to 6 pm on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays. They will be closed on Wednesdays and open from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

There were originally 26 community vaccination centers when the vaccination drive started in February but five of them– Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, HKSH Eastern Medical Center, St. Paul Hospital, Tai Po Market Sports Centre, and Tsuen King Circuit Sports Centre–will close down by November.

As of Wednesday night, a total of 7.97 million vaccine doses have been administered in Hong Kong, Nip said, adding that the figure could reach 8 million by Thursday evening.

He said 4.2 million residents have received their first dose, or 63.6 percent of the eligible population. On the other hand, 3.68 million have taken their second shot, or 54.7 percent of those eligible.

Nip said more work needs to be done to encourage the elderly to take their jabs, adding that only 27 percent of those aged 70 and above have been vaccinated. The vaccination rate goes down even further to 12.7 percent for those 80 and above.