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Hong Kong’s omicron spike tests its zero-Covid approach


A temporary holding space outside Caritas Medical Center is used by patients to hold their medical treatments.

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Lam however insists that they are no plans for a “widespread city lockdown.

She stated that Hong Kong must find its own path out of the epidemic. “Our measures to stop the spread of disease are valid and legitimate.

Lam stated that the city will stick to what it calls “a” this month. “dynamic zero” strategyAt least, until vaccination rates reach 90%. Hong Kong’s “dynamic zero strategy” can be described by the government as having a target of having “zero infections” — a strategy it has repeatedly said is the most effective way of fighting the pandemic. It involves measures such as mass community testing, sewage surveillance, contact tracingAnd border controlsTo keep imported items out.

Rates for seniors vaccinated

Lam has spoken the city needs to “do better” in inoculating the elderlyTo reach the global 90% target for vaccinations.

She stated that “until all these things happen we will still adhere to our current strategy to try to contain the spreading of the virus or what we refer to maintaining this dynamic zero’ regime.”

Hong Kong just introduced vaccine passesThis could increase the number of people who get their vaccines. Starting February 24, the passes are required to gain entry into most public areas.

Covid restrictions are managed by businesses

Hong Kong is, along with mainland China, one of the few places that still follows a zero-Covid policy. While it is attempting to establish the new city, Hong Kong has maintained strict restrictions. quarantine-free travel with China.

According to A.A., the restrictions have hampered operations and disrupted travel plans. recent business sentiment survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

In its annual reportHSBC stated Tuesday that the “evolving Covid-19 restrictions” in Hong Kong (including travel, public gathering, and social distancing) are having an impact on the economy and could affect staff retention.

The city’s Immigration Department has shown that the number issued work visas has fallen over the past 2 years. Just 13,800 foreign professionals were issued work visas under the General Employment Policy scheme last year — a decline of about 66% from more than 41,000 in 2019, before the pandemic.

This decline however is unlikely to be entirely due to Covid limitations, according Lloyd Chan (an economist with Oxford Economics).

In a February 9 report, he stated that “in addition to travel restrictions and tensions with the US-China, we believe that concerns about the national security law (and changes to Hong Kong’s political system (such the overhauling of the city’s electoral system), have reduced Hong Kong’s appeal as an international hub for foreign investors and companies.”

He said that “Firms seem to have difficulty recruiting overseas talent as evidenced by anecdotal evidence.”

InvestHK is Hong Kong’s government agency responsible for foreign direct investments. It stated that Hong Kong was still a “major regional base” for business despite the pandemic.

“Hong Kong continues offering overseas businesses unrivalled access to Mainland China market markets. This is our greatest competitive advantage,” InvestHK stated in a written reply to CNBC.

According to the agency, Hong Kong’s banks are “as strong as ever” after the National Security Law was implemented. The agency reported that total deposits in Hong Kong were almost 8 percent higher year-over-year at $15 trillion Hong Kong dollars (1.92 trillion).

CNBC spoke with a representative of Hong Kong’s Information Services department. the national security law“Reverted to chaos… restored stability in Hong Kong and encouraged confidence, thus allowing the city to…return to its path of development.”

The changes to the electoral systemThe legislative council, in turn, was responsible for ensuring that all members acted “in support of Hong Kong’s long-term development” it stated.

Air passenger traffic plummets

Authorities will be busy this week extended a ban on incoming flightsFrom nine countries: The United States, United Kingdom of India, Australia and Australia up to April 20. The government has said the tighter borderThis would “prevent import COVID-19 case from putting more pressure on the city’s healthcare system at the crucial juncture to curb the local epidemic situation.”

Chan explained that Hong Kong needs to be aligned with Beijing’s zero Covid strategy in order for China to open its borders.

According to him, “Thus, strict international border restrictions will continue, hampering international connectivity, and depressing outbound tourism.” We expect Hong Kong’s zero Covid policy to hinder its economic recovery, and impact on its attraction as a global financial centre,” he said in a report dated February 9.

Hong Kong has a lower cumulative caseload than other major global cities. at just over 75,000 cases as of Feb. 22According to government data, the number is 2. Daily new cases of pandemic in Chinese cities were common for a large portion.