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Monday, Dec 05, 2022

Covid tests made cheaper, quicker

Covid tests made cheaper, quicker

Hongkongers can avail of Covid PCR tests at 85 public test sites - with results released in 24 hours - at a lower price of HK$150, health authorities have announced.
A HK$240 express test will guarantee results are out in 12 hours.

All 85 community test stations and centers became permanent starting yesterday, and will offer the two-tier test service in addition to free tests for people subject to mandatory tests.

The Health Bureau announced the regularization of the mobile specimen collection stations into community testing centers and stations. Together with the existing 19 community testing centers and the new testing stations being set up at the North Point Vehicular Ferry Pier Playground, a network of 85 testing centers and stations will cover all 18 districts, most of them near MTR stations.

The bureau said the sites are within 15 minutes' walking distance from the residence of 70 percent of the SAR's population.

Starting later this month, all 85 community testing centers or stations will provide self-pay testing services at two pricing tiers, allowing the public to get faster testing at a more affordable price. The standard self-paid service, with test results released in 24 hours, will cost HK$150, and an express self-paid service that guarantees result in 12 hours will cost HK$240.

A "green lane" for high-risk people, such as staff members of residential care homes and nursing homes, will also be set up to save time waiting on site.

Meanwhile, some people took both Covid and flu jabs - one on each arm - at community vaccination centers as authorities began to administer free flu jabs for citizens aged 50 and above.

The centers reminded people who had taken Covid shots to go to public or private clinics, as they only offer flu jabs together with Covid vaccines. Dozens of Covid-jabbed people went to vaccination centers yesterday with the intention of getting only flu jabs.

The Medical Association called on the public to get jabbed, saying influenza and Covid epidemic may occur at the same time in winter.

Cheng Chi-man, president of the association, said that the average annual number of deaths due to influenza could reach 400, so the public should not take it lightly.

Authorities should set up designated clinics for unvaccinated citizens to check if they are clear to receive their Covid jabs, thus avoiding discrepancies in clinical judgment, infectious disease expert Ho Pak-leung said.
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