The Peninsula Hotel has announced that its staff will receive a cash bonus and paid holidays if they get vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of August.

Peninsula Hotel. Photo: Chris Price via Flickr.

Employees at the five star hotel will be entitled to a HK$2,000 cash bonus and two days of paid leave if they get their jabs by the end of August, RTHK reported on Friday, citing a hotel spokesperson.

The hotel – which employs around 5,000 people – said staff will be required to submit proof of vaccination by early September and the bonus will be paid along with their salary that month.

Catha Pacific aircrafts. Photo: GovHK.

While some businesses are offering incentives to get more employees to receive their jabs, Cathay Pacific told aircrew in an internal memo on Thursday that the company may make it a hiring requirement for pilots and cabin crew to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In a letter to staff, a Cathay executive said less than half of the company’s cabin crew have been vaccinated, Apple Daily reported. The airline may no longer be able to “sustainably roster unvaccinated crew,” the letter read, as it expects governments to impose stricter measures on unvaccinated crew members while relaxing rules for those who are vaccinated. It may become too difficult to manage rosters for two groups of air crew as quarantine and immigration requirements change at the destinations.

Mystery of four-year-old boy

Meanwhile, the continuation of Hong Kong’s 27-day streak without a case of infection with could hang on the case of a 4-year-old boy.

Hong Kong health authorities are investigating the whether the boy was infected and how he might have caught the coronavirus. An initial virus test on the boy returned what was considered a false-positive by the authorities after he tested negative as soon as he was hospitalised, despite receiving a positive diagnosis last Saturday.

However, University of Hong Kong microbiologist Yuen kwok-yung said on Thursday that the possibility of sample contamination was ruled out and the boy was “true-positive,” HK01 reported.

Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung. File Photo: RTHK, via video screenshot.

Experts are now studying two hypotheses: that the boy might have been infected in as early as January, displayed no symptoms and had no antibodies, but continued to have remaining virus nucleic acid in his body that was reflected in the tests. He may also be infected with two viruses that interfered with each other and suppressed the reproduction of the coronavirus in his body, leading to just a small amount of virus found in his body.

Hong Kong has recorded 11,829 coronavirus cases and 210 deaths since the start of the epidemic.

Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.