Editorial:COVID-19 mutant augurs badly

【明報專訊】In view of the emergence of a case of community infection involving a COVID-19 variant, the government has ordered restriction-testing in buildings, banning passenger flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines to Hong Kong for 14 days at the same time. Because it is not yet clear how the patient concerned got infected, no one can know whether the mutant has already spread in the community and whether the measures of restriction-testing and flight bans can stop the spread of the variant in time. The sudden emergence of the variant augurs badly. Both the government and the public must heighten vigilance, make the best preparations and be prepared for the worst. The current variant case shows that there is still room for improvement in guarding against the import of cases. Still, the virus is all-pervasive, and there are always chances of slips however tight the gatekeeping is. Hong Kong is now trying to return to normality against the backdrop of pandemic storms outside the city. Although vaccines for the coronavirus are not a panacea, they are still the most hopeful way out. Citizens should not hesitate about receiving vaccination anymore.