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Hong Kong rolls out vaccine passport, tightens COVID-19 measures

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the region, Hong Kong has introduced a vaccine passport and imposed tighter restrictions, on 24 February 2022.

The vaccine passport mandates all people above the age of 12 to have taken at least one jab, and they will have to produce the certificate at all public places.

Know more about the COVID-19 measures in Hong Kong

Vaccine passport mandates

Hong Kong’s new vaccine passport requires everyone above the mentioned age to have taken at least the first dose of the jab and produce the vaccine certificate before entering any public area. This includes going to shopping malls, restaurants and supermarkets.

Although Hong Kong already has stringent COVID-19 restrictions in place, the measures have been made stricter to flatten the curve.

Residents have to wear masks at all times when out in public. They will not be allowed to remove their mask while eating or drinking on public transport.

COVID-19 tally

Hong Kong reported 8,674 cases on 24 February morning and authorities are of the view that almost all of them are acquired locally. It has prepared to introduce mandatory testing for all its 7.4 million people as part of the ‘dynamic zero COVID’ strategy similar to China.

What Hong Kong government said

According to a report by Al Jazeera, Hong Kong has invoked its emergency powers to get help from doctors and nurses from mainland China. The government said, “Hong Kong is now facing a very dire epidemic situation, which continues to deteriorate rapidly.”

It added, “Hong Kong’s healthcare system, manpower, anti-epidemic facilities and resources, etc., will soon be insufficient to handle the huge number of newly confirmed cases detected every day.”

The statement by the Hong Kong government also said that the emergency powers will help lay out a legal framework for China to provide the necessary support to Hong Kong more efficiently and smoothly. Nearly 50,000 cases have been confirmed over the past 14 days and Chinese President Xi Jinping has told the Hong Kong government to go to any length and adopt “all necessary measures” to prevent the outbreak.

According to a report by CNA, construction work has begun in full swing at Lantau Island to build 10,000 community and isolation units while private hospitals gear up to take in patients from public hospitals. Despite all these measures and restrictions, studies at the University of Hong Kong have predicted that new infections will reach its peak in March with 1,80,000 daily cases.

(Main and feature image credit: drown_in_city/ @drown_in_city/ Unsplash)

Trinetra Paul
An ardent foodie, Trinetra seeks every opportunity of travelling and writing. Storytelling and slam poetry are her go-to jam. Her lazying around ideas includes binge watching and whipping up some snacks or searching the next place to visit.
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