Madam Ho Ching weighed in on the alarming uptick in Covid-19 cases and deaths in Hong Kong, urging “friends and families in HK” to convince the elderly to get their vaccination shots as soon as possible.

The wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Director of Temasek Trust said in a Feb 21 Facebook post that Hong Kong’s elderly “should especially put aside their distrust or mistrust of govt, their memories of their flight from China, or any other reason for distrust of authorities.”

“Don’t wait till it’s too late, and don’t wait for regrets when it is too late,” she added.

Much has been reported on the surge in Covid cases in Hong Kong recently, especially about the city’s overwhelmed healthcare system. Reports have shown patients overflowing into the outdoor areas of hospital grounds in order to receive treatment.

On Monday (Feb 21) Hong Kong recorded a new daily high of 7,533 infections and 13 deaths. One of the deceased was an 11-month-old baby.

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The vaccination rate among Hong Kong’s elderly has been low. The city’s seniors have had less interest in lifting travel restrictions, and many of them are poorer and not as mobile in comparison with other citizens.

Earlier this month, two men over the age of 70 were the first to die due to Covid-related causes since September of last year, at the same time as outbreaks in 10 senior care homes were reported.

At that point, vaccination rates for individuals aged hose aged 70-79 and 80 and above were only at 61.9 per cent and 33.2 per cent, but have risen since the government announced vaccination passes would be required for shopping, dining out, and using public facilities.

Mdm Ho also encouraged younger adults and youths to “separate whatever disagreements they may have against their local govt, against the Chinese govt” for the sake of “love of their (elderly) friends and family members” and help them get vaccinated.

“Vaccination would help protect against the very high risk of severe illness and death for folks above 60 years old. 

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Covid does not respect boundaries, ideologies, or personal angsts. 

Covid just goes for whoever they can find. 

The more unprotected, the bigger the attack surface for the virus to bombard – individuals, families, communities, young and old, but especially the old. 

The risk to the 80-year-old is much more than 100 times than the risk to a 20-year-old. 

Risks double every 5-8 years of age,” she wrote.

Mdm Ho added that the government cannot fight Covid on its own, and people need to do their part by doing the best for themselves. 

“That means vaccination wherever and whenever it is available. 

Vaccinate for ourselves, for our loved ones.”

Pointing out that Covid vaccines are free, as opposed to PCR tests, she again encouraged everyone to “take advantage of the vaccines, and go get protected as soon as possible, tak mmm tak?”

According to a Feb 21 report in the Hong Kong Free Press, nearly 90 per cent of the deaths that occurred in the city’s fifth wave of Covid infections had been among the unvaccinated. /TISG

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