The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the entire world. Not only does wave after wave of infections threaten the health of local residents, they also severely damage Hong Kong's economy. The DAB conducted a survey and learned the views of 1,150 local residents towards vaccinations, mandatory universal testing, unemployment as well as resumption of cross border travel and put forward several proposals based on the findings.
A. Survey analysis
The majority of respondents have faith in COVID-19 vaccines. Close to 70% of respondents are willing to proactively seek out vaccinations for COVID-19. This is a positive message to our local anti-epidemic works.
More members of the public will proactively seek out vaccinations if such vaccines are found safe and reliable. Fear over potential harmful side effects and the immediate harm to health are two main reasons of respondents who do not proactively seek out vaccinations.
The public believes that vaccines can positively help to resume travel with the Mainland and other places around the world. Over 75% of respondents hope to resume travel with the Mainland and Macao as soon as possible. Close to 70% of respondents support the proposal of allowing vaccinated travelers to be exempted from the 14-day quarantine when travelling to the Mainland.
The public believes that “mandatory universal testing” will help cases drop to zero. Over 70% of respondents support “mandatory universal testing”, which reflects that the public believes such testing is effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The public continues to worry about the economy and their employment situation. Close to 65% of respondents say their or their family member’s earnings have decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also worry about unemployment of themselves or their family members.
The government must properly prepare the COVID-19 vaccination scheme. Quickly seek out and “lock down” vaccination sites, arrange efficient logistics and transportation, recruit staff, kick launch of public messaging and registration and so on in accordance with the principle of “prepare ahead of time, plan ahead of time, announce ahead of time”. Thus, the public can get vaccinated once the vaccine reaches Hong Kong.
We urge the government to provide more clinical data to increase public trust in the safety and reliability of vaccines to attract more people to proactively seek out vaccinations and build up “herd immunity” as soon as possible.
The government should appeal the Central and Macao governments to allow vaccinated Hong Kong travelers with COVID-19 antibodies to be exempted from the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
We urge the government to quickly implement “mandatory universal testing” and appeal the Central Government to send support teams of professionals to Hong Kong to defeat the epidemic.
We urge the government to quickly establish a “temporary unemployment allowance” and improve the current plans to deal with unemployment. The government should also quickly create new jobs in both the public and private sectors.
We call upon the general public to remain alert and continue to reduce social interactions. Through the cooperation of each member of the public, together we can save Hong Kong from the pandemic.
Media Inquiries: Legislative Councilor Vincent Cheng (6373 1979)、Ben Chan (9274 7035)