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The impact of social inequalities on people’s vulnerability to COVID-19, especially by non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), has been widely discussed.1 2 However, recent resurgence of community outbreaks in Hong Kong clearly warns us that, without taking social inequalities into account when planning exit strategies, the pandemic may stage a comeback and spread even more rampantly.
Hong Kong is currently undergoing the ‘third wave’ of local outbreaks. Its first two waves were mainly brought by visitors in late January and by return-students studying overseas in March. In mid-June, with no local cases for over 2 weeks, the government relaxed its NPIs, including lifting restrictions on physical distancing and reopening schools. However, an abrupt community outbreak struck the city 2 weeks later. The number of confirmed cases had almost tripled within 1 month from 1206 (30 June) to 3273 (31 July).3
Unlike the first two waves, several clusters identified in …
Contributors YW and XY contributed equally to this work. YW, XY and DD conceived the research idea. EKY and RYNC helped improve the initial idea. YW and XY conducted data collection, data analysis and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. DD, RYNC and EKY revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding This research was funded by the Centre for Health Systems and Policy Research of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The Centre was supported by the Tung Foundation (Project code: 6905422).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.