False: Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung did not comment on holding Legco election during COVID-19’s third wave
Hong Kong is said to have entered its third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. The number of confirmed cases surged recently, with more than 2,000 infected and 14 deaths as of July 22.
On July 20, pro-Beijing political figures like Tam Yiu-chung and Gary Chan Hak-kan, as well as the political organisation Politihk Social Strategic, advocated for postponing the Legislative Council Election in September, citing a potential health risk.
A post circulating on Facebook claims that microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung, one of the four experts in the government’s advisory group on the pandemic, said there is no need to postpone the Legislative Council Election because the local COVID-19 outbreak will be controlled within two weeks.
The claim is groundless. Yuen told Annie Lab on July 22 through a messaging app that he does not comment on politics and has never mentioned the Legco election.
Annie Lab could not find any media reports that suggest otherwise through multiple databases.
During an interview quoted by RTHK on July 20, he warned that the city may need to implement measures “close to a lockdown” if the situation does not improve.
In another interview with Cable News, Yuen reiterated the importance of the “coming 7 to 14 days” in implementing effective epidemic controlling measures.
In a press conference on July 18 he also said the situation may be controlled within two weeks if all citizens maintain good personal hygiene.
The Facebook post in question seems to have taken bits and pieces of his commentaries out of context and added things he did not say.
In the upcoming Legco election, Chan Hak-kan from DAB is one of the candidates running in the New Territories East constituency. On 28 July, the Electoral Affairs Commission received 15 nominations from the same geographical constituency. Other candidates hoping to run in the New Territories East constituency along with Chan include Lam Hak-lam, Chan Yuk-ngor Estella, Wong Siu-kin from Civic Passion, localist Lau Wing-hong, democrat Ho Kwai-lam, Yeung Alvin Ngok-kiu from Civic Party, Quat Elizabeth from DAB, Chan Chi-chuen Raymond from People Power, Fan Gary Kwok-wai from Neo Democrats, Lee Tsz-king Dominic from New People’s Party& Civil Force, Lam Cheuk-ting from Democratic Party, Lee Jack Kai-tik from Hope League, Chow Ka-shing and Chiu Pui-yuk Joyce.