Coronavirus: quarantined HK residents question why vaccination made no difference

05-May-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Some fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents now in mandatory quarantine for three weeks after a mutated coronavirus variant was discovered in their housing block are questioning why they have not been exempted from the measure after testing negative.

Residents of the Caribbean Coast in Tung Chung who spoke to the Post also suggested that home quarantine would have been preferable, while others expressed dismay over the arrangements at the government’s facility in Penny’s Bay.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Tuesday told reporters the city was investigating whether those with two jabs might be subjected to shorter isolation periods in cases involving the new strains.

In the city’s biggest such quarantine operation to date, 1,027 occupants of Tower 11 of the development’s Carmel Cove estate were evacuated on Thursday night after a 39-year-old domestic helper living in the building tested positive for the N501Y and E484K mutations. A 10-month-old baby she took care of was also confirmed to have tested positive.

Both mutations were found in more infectious strains first identified in South Africa and Brazil, and experts suggested there could be transmission links between the helper and a 29-year-old man visiting from Dubai who was the first variant case detected in the city.

But some of those swept up in the precautionary operation are now questioning why their fully vaccinated status made no difference in determining if isolation was necessary.

“Why am I being vaccinated if I still have to be quarantined?” a Caribbean Coast resident now staying at the government’s Penny’s Bay centre asked on Monday.

The resident, an airline pilot in his late 30s, said he was upset after being told by authorities last week that the involvement of a mutated strain meant he had to quarantine despite having taken both doses of the mainland-produced Sinovac vaccine nearly a month ago.

The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said some of his flying schedules would be affected by the quarantine period, potentially hurting his income. Like other residents, he will be required to stay at the facility until May 20.

“I used to be one of the guys telling people to go get vaccinated. But now if you ask me, after what has happened, I wouldn’t tell them to take it or not to take it. I just won’t care any more, because there doesn’t seem to be any difference [in how you are treated],” he said.


Category: Hong Kong

Print This Post

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.