Hong Kong finance chief attends int’l banking summit after gov’t says he recovered from Covid

An international banking summit has opened in Hong Kong with Financial Secretary Paul Chan in attendance. His presence at the event, which aims to show the city is back in business after Covid-19 restrictions kept it largely isolated, was days ago in doubt after Chan contracted Covid while on a business trip in Saudi Arabia, where he contracted Covid-19.

Chan returned on Tuesday and health authorities ruled that he was a “recovered case” and did not need to isolate, allowing him to attend the summit. His office did not disclose the result of his on-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan arrived from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night. Photo: GovHK.

Chan is set to deliver a keynote speech to around 200 top executives from international financial institutes at the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit on Wednesday afternoon. A live stream of Wednesday morning’s proceedings, which took place in a ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel in Central, showed most of the participants not wearing masks.

Experts opinion

Epidemiologist Ben Cowling from the University of Hong Kong told HKFP it was common for someone who had recovered from Covid-19 to test negative via rapid antigen test (RAT) but positive through a PCR.

University of Hong Kong epidemiologist Ben Cowling. Photo: Hillary Leung/HKFP.

“It’s very unlikely to have a negative PCR test within a day of being RAT positive,” Cowling…

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