HKU’s top microbiologist calls for more science funding

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Top microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said progress here in developing a nasal spray vaccine against Covid-19 has been extremely slow due to insufficient investment.

Speaking on RTHK’s Chinese-language radio show “Hong Kong Letter on Saturday,” the University of Hong Kong academic said his team made the seeds of the spray two years ago, but that more money was needed to get things done.

“What frustrates people is that our Hong Kong Academy of Sciences lacks regular government funding,” he said.

“If the government hopes to transform Hong Kong into an international science and research center, or” the Silicon Valley of the Great Bay region “, it must provide regular funding to support the Academy’s continued development and operations. Sciences.”

With Hong Kong now possibly facing another community Covid outbreak, Yuen also called on authorities to improve ventilation requirements for places such as schools and restaurants. He also called for a comprehensive reform of contact tracing, which he called “very backward”.

The professor said that looking back over the past two years, the key to a successful anti-epidemic campaign was to gain people’s trust.

But he said that because Covid is a new disease, experts initially had varying, if not contradictory, opinions on the virus. He said it even resulted in cyberbullying against some experts because society was so polarized.

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