CE dismisses loophole in quarantine arrangement

Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday said the only way to guard against any missed imported Covid-19 cases is to have the community vaccinated against the disease, but she doesn’t think there is a “big loophole” in the current quarantine arrangements.

Lam said she was “concerned and disappointed” that after the SAR achieved a zero case status for more than a month, a schoolgirl was confirmed to have a more infectious strain of the virus over the weekend.

The student’s mother and sister have also come down with the disease, and authorities are still looking for the source of their infections – which experts believe was an imported case that went undetected during the quarantine period.

Lam noted that none of the patients in the family cluster was inoculated, and criticised them for “posing a risk to their family members, close contacts and the society as a whole”.

She also said she didn’t believe there’s a big loophole in the quarantine policy, as Hong Kong already adopts the world strictest quarantine arrangements that last up to 21 days.

“What we have to do is to get vaccinated. Only when we have achieved herd immunity, we can tackle these what may be inevitable missed imported cases,” Lam said, adding the health authorities are considering conducting antibody tests on people arriving in Hong Kong or those being quarantined.

She also said it’s not the right time to further relax social distancing measures.