Hong Kong reported no local coronavirus cases for the second day in a row on Sunday, as the government said that initial investigation showed that there was no risk in BioNTech vaccines following reports of defected packaging.

The city recorded only one imported Covid-19 case on Sunday. However, local media reported that Hong Kong also reported ten preliminary positive cases, including one infection with unknown sources.

Covid-19 coronavirus virus mask
Photo: GovHK.

According to RTHK, respiratory medicine expert David Hui said that the city still has to observe for another seven to ten days if there is any cases with unknown origins in order to determine whether the community transmission link has been cut off.

“Hong Kong is close to ‘clearing zero’…and we have to be extra cautious,” said Hui. “We have to make sure that there is no invisible transmission link before relaxing social-distancing measures.”

So far, Hong Kong has seen 11,447 cases and 205 deaths from the virus.

After the government halted the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination programme on Wednesday because of defective packaging found on some doses, officials announced on Saturday that initial investigation from supplier Fosun showed that “there is no evidence indicating any safety risks of the BioNTech vaccines delivered to Hong Kong.”

“At this juncture, the investigation results do not rule out that the relevant situation is caused by environmental conditions during the long-haul transport process,” the government statement read as investigation showed that there was no fault in the manufacturing, packaging, and administration processes.

The government added that random tests of other doses of vaccines also showed that there was no leakage problems, and that “members of the public who have received the BioNTech vaccines do not need to worry.”

Sinovac Covid-19 Coronavirus vaccine
Photo: Jernej Furman, via Flickr.

As people who received their first dose of BioNTech coronavirus vaccine are due to take a second dose, the government said they would resume the vaccination programme “as soon as possible” without providing an exact date.

The Department of Health reported that a 62-year-old man died on Saturday, 20 days after receiving a dose of Sinovac coronavirus vaccine.

According to the department, the man suffered from high blood pressure, hyperlipidaemia, impaired fasting glycaemia, and obesity. He was found unconscious at work on Saturday morning, and died after being sent to hospital.

The Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following Covid-19 Immunisation will meet on Tuesday to discuss whether the incident has a direct causal relation with the vaccination.

Hong Kong reported 12 deaths following vaccination so far, ten people received the Sinovac jab, while 2 people took the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, no deaths where found to be directly caused by the vaccine yet.

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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.