Hong Kong sees near 9,000 COVID-19 cases, but experts warn city hasn’t reached peak

Hong Kong sees near 9,000 COVID-19 cases, but experts warn city hasn’t reached peak
People wearing face masks line up at a testing centre for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, China February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Lam Yik

The backstory:

  • When the pandemic started, the whole world was thrown into chaos. However, as it’s progressed, many developed nations have decided to live with the virus, while Hong Kong has adopted a zero-COVID-19 approach.
  • This has led to Hong Kong becoming increasingly isolated from the rest of the world and put it on the receiving end of quite a bit of scrutiny, especially from the business community, labeling the approach unsustainable and impractical.
  • Hong Kong is now in the middle of its fifth wave, seeing case numbers reaching record highs. The city has also imposed some of its harshest social distancing rules yet in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

The development:

  • On Thursday, Hong Kong saw another 8,798 new COVID-19 cases, with 50 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.
  • It was confirmed at a press briefing by Hospital Authority Chief Manager Lau Ka-hin that the fatalities were between the ages of 52 to 97. Those under 60 also had chronic illnesses.
  • Meanwhile, the vaccine pass was introduced on Thursday, allowing only individuals who have had one dose of the vaccine into certain areas, such as restaurants and supermarkets.
  • Despite the city seeing its highest case numbers to date, experts have warned that numbers have yet to peak.
  • “Our mathematical model, which has so far tracked the actual empirical trajectory very well, unfortunately, we predict that the fifth wave will peak somewhere between the first and the second week of March,” said Gabriel Leung from the University of Hong Kong. He added that it’s expected to decline in April.

You drive the stories at TMS. DM us which headline you want us to explain, or email us.