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1.09m vaccine doses given

About 1,091,100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public, with about 719,900 people receiving their first dose and about 371,200 people getting their second dose.   Among those given the first dose of vaccines, about 375,600 people have received the Sinovac jab and about 344,300 people have received the BioNTech one.    For the second dose, about 223,100 people have received the Sinovac vaccine, while about 148,100 people have been administered the BioNTech jab.   About 3,600 people received their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme today.   Among them, about 3,200 people received the jab at eight community vaccination centres (CVCs), while about 400 were inoculated at private doctors and clinics participating in the programme.   Around 10,400 people received their second dose of the Sinovac vaccine today, including about 9,800 people vaccinated at CVCs and about 600 people through private doctors and clinics.  

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Social distancing measures extended

The Government today announced the social distancing measures currently in place will be maintained until March 17.   The Food & Health Bureau said the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong remains volatile since the gradual and orderly relaxation of social distancing measures on February 18.   It pointed out that a number of confirmed cases were found in certain districts over a short period of time, showing that silent transmission in the community is still active.   Taking into account the latest public health risk assessment, the Government will maintain all requirements and restrictions applicable to catering businesses and scheduled premises.   Given the recent cluster in eateries, the Government will require catering business premises to dedicate staff for clearing used utensils and cleaning and disinfecting used tables and partitions to reduce the relevant infection risk.   If this arrangement is not practicable, staff carrying out the aforementioned duties must adopt hand hygiene measures before switching to perform other duties and as necessary during each round of cleaning duties.   Such measures include using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, washing hands or changing gloves.   Bathhouses, party rooms, clubs or nightclubs, karaoke establishments, mahjong-tin kau premises and swimming pools will remain closed.   Unless exempted, the prohibition on group gatherings of more than four people in public places will continue.   The requirement for wearing a mask at all times when on public transport and in public places will also remain in effect.   The bureau explained that the existing arrangement for regular COVID-19 testing of staff of catering businesses and scheduled premises will continue to help break the silent transmission chain in the community promptly.   It noted that more than 30,000 quotas are available at community testing centres daily, and the booking rate for the coming seven days is only about 27%.   Employees of the construction sector and staff of catering businesses and scheduled premises can receive free testing with online booking.   The directions and specifications under three relevant regulations have been gazetted.
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