Hong Kong’s “Dynamic Zero’ COVID Policy on the Brink

Story Highlights
  • Drastic rise in infections reported by health bulletin.
  • 56,827 infections reported in 24 hours.
  • About 700 deaths reported in 1 week.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong reported a record daily high of 56,827 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday and 144 deaths, as a worsening outbreak overwhelms healthcare facilities and sees authorities scramble to contain cases in the Asian financial centre.

Despite 45 per cent of seniors being vaccinated the country still reels under the shadow of the novel virus. Hong Kong has struggled with vaccine hesitancy among seniors since it launched an immunization program last year. Few elderly people got shots in 2021 amid fears that they may be more vulnerable to side effects. The government’s successful Covid Zero strategy also removed any urgency, as there was no penalty for complacency thanks to low infection rates before omicron slammed the city.

Subway operators, bus operators and supermarket chains were clamping down as the outbreak worsened. At the global financial hub, sources from the Transport department reported suspension of 98 bus routes as manpower shortage raged.

About 700 deaths have been reported in the past week, with a majority of them unvaccinated. As many as 1.7 million people are reported to have been infected as the week began, with the daily tally coming upto 183,000 infections.

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