Inequality of HK's COVID-19 vaccination program: online booking in Chinese only!
Updated: Mar 5
Few people in HK need CCP and Carrie Lam's political nonsense! What has tragically been missing in Hong Kong (HK) since December 2019 has been a 'international standard pandemic response' by the HK government to novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes COVID-19 : HK government must under its UN W.H.O. obligations be focused on science and HK people's UN supreme human right - the 'right to life'.
Instead, what we have had so far is: repeated delays of a vaccination programme start because of the politicization of COVID-19. The government has been promoting a low efficacy China vaccine from Sinovac unapproved by W.H.O. : and it has initiated mass survelliance and data privacy violations of HK people using the government app 'LeaveHomeSafe'!
Singapore has successfully been vaccinating its citizens with the high efficacy Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine since early January 2021! What is wrong with HK's governance?
Since the 2017 selection by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of HK's Chief Executive (CE) Carrie Lam ('CLam', HK people have witnessed her arrogance, incompetence, negligence and lies. She caused the 2019 havoc of anti-extradition mass protests and subsequent illegal annexation of HK by CCP's national security law.
Instead of supporting science with the earliest vaccination of residents and staff of residential care homes for the elderly/persons with disabilities and other institutional facilities, CLam has been playing politics by seeking a photo op to show CCP's Emperor Xi Jinping. Meanwhile HK people have been 'needlessly' dying : This is 'genocide' under the disguise of COVID-19 and CCP and CLam need to be held accountable!
Chinese developed Sinovac is the first vaccine to be delivered to HK and to please CCP's Emperor Xi Jinping CLam was photographed as the first HK person to receive a Sinovac vaccination : whilst willfully ignoring the fact that Sinovac has ONLY been approved and tested in China for age group 18-59 years old with numerous exemptions for health and that she is 63 years old.
Inequality of HK's vaccination programme online booking:
Today, Tuesday 23 February 2021 was the first day of operation of the online booking system for Hong Kong's (HK) long awaited 'COVID-19 Vaccination Programme':
Priority groups (i.e. those HK people who will be vaccinated with German made BioINTech-Fosun vaccine in 24 of 29 vaccination sites in HK and require an online booking):
+ First: Residents and staff of residential care homes for the elderly/persons with disabilities and other institutional facilities; + Second: Workers in health-care settings, workers in other essential services who are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, and persons aged 60 years or above, and; + Third: Persons with chronic medical problems aged between 16 and 59 years.
At 11.27 am this morning RTHK published CLam's self-aggrandizement article 'People just couldn't wait to book jabs: Carrie Lam' (see below) which stated that:
+ Before 9 am 42,000 people in 'priority groups' had booked an appointment; obviously very positive that many people in the priorities group want to be vaccinated; but there MUST be equal access to online booking!
+ At the time of the RTHK article being published (11.27) as described there was ONLY a Chinese language 'Book Vaccination' webpage available.
There was NO English language 'Book Vaccination' webpage from 0.0hrs until roughly 16.00hrs (4pm) when anyone trying to book in English was informed (in English) that all bookings have been filled for the 14 days until 11 March 2021! i.e. there is no equality in delivery of the vaccination programme. (See image below).
HK legislation 'Official Languages Ordinance' Cap.5. article 3.1 says "The English and Chinese languages are declared to be the official languages of Hong Kong for the purposes of communication between the Government or any public officer and members of the public and for court proceedings."
Why did we have inequality of online booking language and hence vaccination under HK's COVID-19 vaccination programme at startup on 23 February 2021? This is unacceptable!
There is no HK law against 'linguistic' discrimination; although it can be a sub-set of 'Racial Discrimination';
Some HK Chinese educated overseas or in international schools are unable to read Chinese fluently - i.e. this is not just an issue for 'foreigners';
The only current HK anti-race discrimination legislation is the “Race Discrimination Ordinance” (RDO) which significantly does NOT include racial discrimination by HK Government employed Police Officers. This was highlighted in 2016 HKSAR Court action against the Police by Mr. Arjun Singh, a HKSAR minority Permanent Resident. The Court did not find that under RDO the Police provides a “service”. This highlights a key weakness in the RDO, as it is the only Ordinance amongst the four HKSAR anti-Discrimination Ordinances that does NOT mention that it is unlawful for the Government employed Police to discriminate against persons on the grounds of race in the performance of its functions or the exercising of its powers. This is CCP and HK government State sponsored and legalized race discrimination!!
HK REALITY: We draw everyone's attention to the tragic murder of a HK Permanent Resident the 8 May 2020 death in police custody of an Indian Sikh man - in a murder similar to African American George Floyd - when at least 3 HK policemen pressed their knees against this Sikh man's neck and back. His murder by police was not related to HK protests. The HK police knew they could get away with killing him - so they did! HK public did not come out and protest! Why? Please see our followup blog BLM and Hong Kong's new social contract.
CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:
People just couldn't wait to book jabs: Carrie Lam
RTHK 23 February 2021 11.27am (format added)
Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday said there has been a keen response to the government’s coronavirus vaccination programme, with more than 42,000 people in priority groups making appointments for the jabs by 9am after online bookings opened at midnight.
Speaking ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam said neither she nor any top officials had experienced any side effects since receiving the Sinovac vaccine on Monday.
“The registration opened at midnight. Most citizens were sleeping, but some of them couldn’t wait and booked their vaccination. The response is enthusiastic,” she said.
Lam said the government will continue to educate the public about the benefits of getting vaccinated, and clarify false claims about the vaccines quickly.
“It’s expected that there would be unfounded reports aimed at smearing the vaccination programme. Several hours after government officials and I received the vaccine, rumours circulated online saying the jabs we took were not produced by Sinovac as we didn’t have confidence in the vaccine. We clarified immediately,” she said.
By around 11am on Tuesday, there was a waiting time of more than one hour for people to make bookings on the government's website, with the "Book vaccination" link taking people to a page that was only available in Chinese.
A Trust Deficit Is Hindering Hong Kong’s COVID-19 Response
The Diplomat 22 February 2021 by Jessie Lau
In the wake of the national security law, public trust in the government has reached new lows. That is inevitably impacting Hong Kong’s pandemic response.
As Hong Kong’s fourth coronavirus wave shows signs of abating, authorities have begun plans to ease restrictions and launch a massive vaccination drive. Yet government measures are coming under more public scrutiny than ever before.
Following the passing of the controversial national security law last summer and a large-scale crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy protest movement, there has been drastic decline in trust between residents and authorities. In the past year and a half, people’s satisfaction ratings with the government have dropped to the lowest levels ever recorded since the city’s 1997 handover from Britain to China, according to the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute.
The fallout is shaping public reactions to the government’s pandemic response.
When the Hong Kong government made its COVID-19 tracing app mandatory for eateries – now allowed to serve parties of up to four people until 10 p.m. – as well as other services, many expressed privacy concerns, HKFP reports. Some have opted to manually enter their details, while others have taken to buying cheap burner phones to circumvent tracing efforts.
This week, the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance (HAEA) called for a public boycott of the app, which it says is a tool for the government to spy on citizens. The union group was responsible for a massive medical workers’ strike last February protesting the government’s refusal to close borders with mainland China during the outbreak.
In response, the government accused the group of spreading “unfounded” information, insisting that the app doesn’t have any tracking functions and that records will only be kept on user’s phones.
Meanwhile, a massive voluntary vaccination rollout due to begin next week has also been met with concerns over a rushed decision, after experts advising the government recommended China’s Sinovac vaccine without waiting for endorsement from the World Health Organization. A survey in January by the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s medical school found that fewer than 40 percent of residents would be willing to take the Sinovac jab.
Following widespread skepticism over whether the decision was made under pressure from Beijing, the city’s health secretary on February 12 told Reuters that standards had not been lowered to accept Sinovac, and that “the government has not politicized any vaccine.”
Earlier this month, a spate of ambush-style lockdowns that began at the end of January also triggered widespread concern and anxiety. To contain the virus, the government targeted sites of infections in dense neighborhoods and sealed off entire residential blocks without warning. The lockdowns were lifted after residents were forcibly submitted to mandatory testing and the results were confirmed.
After the quarantines found only a limited number of cases, many questioned whether such drastic measures were necessary, even as officials argued that finding zero infections is an indication of success. The fact that many lockdowns took place in poorer areas of the city – where impoverished residents were already struggling to cope with the pandemic – also intensified public criticisms.
On February 15, the city reported just nine new infections – the first single-digit daily increase recorded since the fourth wave of the virus began in November. But over the past three days, the count of new daily cases has crept back up into the double-digits, ranging from 13 to 20.