Page 11 - Aspire Newsletter APRIL 2022 Vol 7 / Issue 2
P. 11

                                     HONG KONG
                                                      Severe coronavirus surge despite Hong Kong government’s zero-COVID policy
By Dr Jacqueline Chung Country Representative
Hong Kong recently experienced its most severe coronavirus outbreak over a 14-day period with locally transmitted cases surging past 312,000 in the city of 7.4 million.
Tens of thousands of infections have been recorded daily, however the actual numbers are likely to be far higher as many people are not reporting their positive COVID antigen test results for fear of being separated from families and put into government isolation facilities.
The government maintains a strict zero-COVID policy including stringent border controls and mass testing in districts where sewage samples tested positive or in places where there have been infections.
A vaccine pass was introduced requiring people to have at least one dose of COVID vaccination to enter premises including schools, universities, office buildings, restaurants and shopping malls. Schools were to be closed in mid-
March with facilities set aside for vaccination, testing and isolation.
The exponential surge of confirmed cases has posed unimaginable burdens on the public health care system.
Hospitals are being swamped by infected children and elderly people along with individuals affected by chronicdiseases.
Paramedics are stretched to the limit, and many of the elective services in hospitals have been suspended due to lack of staff.
Fear has been woven into the fabric of our society with panic buying of rapid antigen test kits, food and other daily necessities.
Jacqueline Chung
Non-essential public ART services have been deferred or halted. Patients preparing for assisted reproductive services are encouraged to complete their COVID vaccinations, however many couples have delayed their reproductive plans and pregnant women have expressed concerns about the impact of infection.
The Hong Kong College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists ( news_4_65.html) and the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Hong Kong recently updated their guidelines or released promotional videos on vaccination in pregnant and lactating women.
We hope this Omicron wave will ease soon so that we we can meet face-to-face in the near future. Meanwhile, stay positive and healthy.

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