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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Mass rapid tests could screen out tens of thousands of infections: govt epidemic adviser

Mass rapid tests could screen out tens of thousands of infections: govt epidemic adviser

Family doctor Edmund Lam Wing-wo, also a government adviser on Covid vaccines, said on Monday that a mass rapid testing exercise at home could screen out tens of thousands of Covid infections, putting hundreds of transmission chains to a stop.
The SAR government previously urged all residents across the city to screen themselves for Covid-19 using rapid test kits for three days in a row next week to help authorities identify hidden infections in the community and better assess the true extent of the pandemic.

People were encouraged to test themselves from April 8 to 10 using kits delivered to their homes by the government, and report any infections to the authorities within 24 hours.

Lam anticipated that some 3 million people in Hong Kong will respond to the call.

On the relaxation of the city’s Covid curbs, he said the timing for the easing depends on citizens’ participation in the Covid fight, as well as authorities’ timely response in its anti-epidemic work.

Meanwhile, medical and health services sector lawmaker David Lam Tzit-yuen, worried that citizens’ efforts in the mass rapid testing scheme would go to waste if people do not actively participate in it.

He said it was understood that citizens may worry about being sent to quarantine facilities after reporting their positive test results, but getting treated at quarantine facilities is the best way from preventing serious symptoms and infecting other family members.

He noted that people would be able to get an isolation order from authorities after reporting their positive rapid test results, which could be useful for citizens’ future vaccination or applying for sick leave.

He also said those who tested negative for the coronavirus should also submit their result to allow authorities to get the full picture of Hong Kong's infection rate.

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