‘Unjabbed people should be banned from work, schools’

Prominent microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung has proposed drastic measures to boost the city’s coronavirus vaccination rate, saying people who have not been inoculated against Covid-19 should be banned from going to work, schools and public venues.

In an interview with DotDotNews, the infectious disease expert who’s advising the government on its coronavirus strategy, also warned that companies would move to Singapore if Hong Kong fails to open up next year.

He said a vaccine passport should be introduced to make everyone get vaccinated, except for those who suffer from serious allergies or chronic illnesses that aren’t under control.

“I believe it would not work to organise more lucky draws or do more promotion. Those who are uncooperative or worried about side effects of the vaccine would still be reluctant to get vaccinated,” he said.

Around 69 percent of the SAR’s eligible population have had at least one jab, but Yuen said the figure needs to be close to 100 percent to protect the public healthcare system when borders reopen.

He said Singapore, where more than 80 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, is doing a much better job in inoculating its citizens.

“By March or July next year, Singapore will have no problem at all.” he said, adding that firms which currently have investments here may elect to move to the city-state.

“It would be a huge blow to Hong Kong,” he warned.

Yuen said the two vaccines currently on offer in Hong Kong, Sinovac and BioNTech, are proven to be safe, adding that it is fine for people to mix and match their booster dose.