Coronavirus: delayed BioNTech vaccine to arrive in HK ‘on Saturday’, city records 13 new infections

27-Feb-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The delayed BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Hong Kong on Saturday at the earliest, according to a source, while the city on Thursday recorded 13 new coronavirus infections.

Hong Kong’s Covid-19 situation has eased in the past week, with its mass vaccination drive to launch on Friday, but neighbouring Guangdong province on Wednesday announced it would only accept coronavirus tests done by nasal or combined nasal-throat swabs for arrivals from the city starting from next month.

Deep-throat saliva samples, a method widely used in Hong Kong’s free screening programme, would not be accepted.

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Some 70,000 residents have already fully booked slots for the first two weeks of the city’s vaccination drive. The mainland-made Sinovac jab would be offered at five community centres and 18 general outpatient clinics under the Hospital Authority in this initial phase of the scheme.

The BioNTech vaccine, jointly developed by the German firm and American pharmaceutical giant Pfiser, was originally set to arrive in the city on Thursday. But the vaccines could not be shipped from Germany as procedures for export had “yet to be completed”, the Hong Kong government had said.

The first 1 million doses of the vaccine are expected to be delivered to the city via two flights.

Among the latest Covid-19 infections recorded on Thursday, three were untraceable and the sole imported case was a domestic helper who recently arrived from Indonesia.

More than 10 people also tested preliminary-positive for the virus.

The Centre for Health Protection on Thursday urged those who had visited Ming’s Chinese Dining a restaurant in high-end shopping mall K11 Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui from noon to 3pm on February 19 to contact health authorities.

The appeal was made after 11 people who had recently been there were among confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infections.

The centre said seven of the eight infected patrons were at the restaurant for lunch on February 19.

“As some of them do not know each other, it is believed that the restaurant may have been the place where transmissions occurred,” the centre said.

The infections also included three staff members.

A compulsory testing order was issued on Wednesday to anyone who had visited the restaurant from February 18 to 24. They are required to get tested by Friday.

Among the three untraceable cases recorded on Thursday, one was a saleswoman who works in Lai Chi Kok and lives at Trackside Villas in Tai Po. The other two were a 62-year-old man who works as a quality control worker in San Po Kong and lives in Wah Kwai Estate in Aberdeen, and a 16-year-old Yu Chun Keung Memorial College student who lives in Oi Man Estate in Ho Man Tin.

The city’s total tally of cases stood at 10,926, with 198 related deaths.


Category: Hong Kong

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