The Hong Kong government imposed three overnight coronavirus lockdown in Mong Kok, Hung Hom, and Quarry Bay on Sunday evening, and uncovered four preliminary positive cases after around 2,370 people were tested.

Hoi Yu House in Mong Kok, Wai Lee Building in Quarry Bay, and Cheong Lok Mansion in Hung Hom were put under Covid-19 lockdowns from 7pm on Sunday night. Officers found three preliminary positive cases in Quarry Bay, and one in Hung Hom. Test results from Mong Kok are still being confirmed.

Quarry Bay lockdown. Photos: Kenny Huang and Michael Ho/Studio Incendo.

Residents are unable to leave lockdown areas until the following morning, with all made to undergo compulsory testing.

Hong Kong recorded 27 coronavirus infections on Sunday, of which 24 were locally transmitted cases, and six had unknown origins.

Requirements loosened for China vaccine

With a mass vaccination programme set to roll out as early as this month, Sinovac Biotech has been exempted by the government from publishing the results from its third phase clinical trials in medical journals. Results would normally need to be published before it is considered by the Department of Health for use.

China’s Sinovac Biotech would only be asked to submit the third phase clinical trial data which they previously passed on to the Word Health Organisation, it was announced on Friday.

The European BioNTech vaccine – the first vaccine approved by the department in the city for the mass vaccination programme – was required to have published their results in a medical journal before examined by the advisory panel on Covid-19 vaccines.

Quarry Bay lockdown. Photos: Kenny Huang and Michael Ho/Studio Incendo.

According to the statement released by the government on Friday, Sinovac Biotech told the department that they had “considerable difficulty” publishing in a medical journal at such short notice, and so the department made the decision to exempt the Chinese pharmaceutical company from the requirement due to “the urgency for vaccination.”

The Department of Health will submit the documents to the panel next week for assessment.

“Our work will continue to adhere to the principles of openness and transparency so that members of the public can obtain the latest information on vaccines,” a government spokesperson said in the statement.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.