Govt hopes to break Covid chains quickly: Sophia Chan

Health Secretary Sophia Chan on Thursday said Hong Kong is still at risk of seeing more local coronavirus cases even though officials have identified the transmission chains of recent infections in the community.

Contact tracing has now found that a surveyor – who was previously considered an unlinked case – probably contracted the virus from the mother of a flight attendant when they had breakfast around the same time at Six Garden Restaurant in Tin Hau.

Speaking on an RTHK programme, Chan said officials are tracking down other people who ate there during the same period on December 31.

She said an Indonesian domestic helper – who was also infected by the mother of the flight attendant – might have carried the virus to a hostel she visited.

Chan said the government has asked the Indonesian Consulate in Hong Kong for help with contact tracing.

“Our assessment is that there could be invisible chains of transmission in the community because the patients had visited a lot of places and restaurants during their incubation period,” she said.

“We will continue the contact tracing work. We also appeal to people who have been to these places to get tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible.”

Chan said the government hopes to break transmission chains quickly and control the situation within two weeks, so that businesses can resume normal operations during the Chinese New Year holiday next month.

Speaking on the same programme, Civil Service Secretary Patrick Nip, who’s in charge of Hong Kong’s vaccination programme, said authorities will work to increase capacity as the demand for jabs rises.

About 73 percent of the city’s eligible population have taken at least one coronavirus shot, but the vaccine take-up among the elderly remains low.