Hong Kong cannot adopt the “living with Covid-19” strategy, or it would be even harder for the city to reopen the border, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told lawmakers.
Countries like Singapore and United Kingdom have adopted such a strategy, as they moved the emphasis to increasing vaccination rates instead of having no Covid-19 cases. On the other hand, mainland still maintains the goal of having zero local cases.
In a question-and-answer section in Legislative Council, Lam said situations abroad are still worrying.
As for how Hong Kong can fit into such the “living with Covid” trend going on overseas, Lam said she is confident that Hong Kong can stop imported cases from entering local communities.
She will discuss with the central government about reopening borders, and “living with the virus” is definitely not on the agenda.
“Hong Kong is still aiming at zero local infection,” Lam said.
Starry Lee Wai-king, the chairperson of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, asked what exactly Hong Kong has yet to fulfill that makes Beijing reluctant to reopen borders.
Lam said that she has been reflecting Hong Kong people’s demands on reopening, and stressed the Covid outbreak in Hong Kong is now well under control, with no local infections for more than 21 days.
The government has been very strict on preventing imported cases, so strict that it has been criticized by some chambers of commerce and foreign consulates.
“Strict enforcement of imported cases is necessary as outbreak is still prevalent in many foreign countries,” Lam said.
Lam added that vaccination is still an effective way to prevent the disease. The slow down of vaccination is worrying, she said, and called upon members of the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible.