Hong Kong Urged to Test Entire Population as Covid-19 Cases Rise
What’s new: Leading epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan has urged Hong Kong to launch mass testing for coronavirus infection on all its residents amid the latest surge in Covid-19 cases in the special administrative region.
Zhong, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said during a press conference on Wednesday that the city should test its entire population of around 8 million people “as soon as possible” so as to identify and isolate positive and asymptomatic cases and contain the spread of the disease.
He said the Hong Kong government should also consider making all nucleic acid tests free as they currently cost up to HK$1,200 ($154) at private hospitals, five times more than on the Chinese mainland.
The background: As of Wednesday, Hong Kong has recorded seven consecutive daily rises in the number of confirmed cases, all over 100, most of which are local infections. It has also banned people from gathering in groups of more than two or eating in restaurants for a period of one week. Existing mask-wearing requirements will be expanded to include all outdoor areas and public sports facilities, and swimming pools will close for one week, according to Hong Kong government announcements.
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