Semantron 23 Summer 2023

How effective were Hong Kong’s COVID measures?

Justin Tam


COVID-19, one of the most destructive global pandemics in history, has already infected 600 million people worldwide, killed six and a half million people, 1 and may cause an economic loss in output of 12.5 trillion USD. 2 Hong Kong’s COVID strategy is of particular interest to researchers. The city has maintained a ‘ Dynamic Zero-COVID ’ approach, which allows life to continue normally, but uses harsh restrictions and policies to eliminate emergent COVID cases as swiftly as possible. This policy has caused controversy in Hong Kong among its citizens, with its effectiveness and necessity under constant argument. Therefore, this essay aims to investigate:

• the sp ecific policies used in Hong Kong to achieve ‘Dynamic Zero - COVID’; • t he public’s perception and opinions of such policies; and • the degree of success of such policies in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s COVID Measures

Hong Kong boasted one of the world’s most stringent COVID strategies, with its zealous adherence to the ‘ Zero-COVID ’ target leading it to implement strict measures to ensure that the virus did not spread locally and was not imported. Various policies and restrictions adapted by the Hong Kong government during different stages of the pandemic are detailed below.


Two types of vaccines were introduced in Hong Kong in late January and mid-February of 2021, which were the Comirnaty (BioNTech) vaccine manufactured in Germany and the CoronaVac (Sinovac) vaccine manufactured in China. The vaccination programme was then extended to all persons over the age of 3 months. [At the time of writing] 93.3% of Hong Kong’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, demonstrating a comprehensive uptake of the vaccine. 3 The rate of vaccination remained sluggish at first, only boosted with the introduction of the ‘ Vaccine Pass ’ programme.

1 Worldometer, 2022. 2 Business Standard , 2022. 3 HKSARG – a, 2022.


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