Officers from the immigration and customs department might be deployed to collect specimens for Covid-19 testing, a health expert said.
David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said he believes social distancing restrictions would not be relaxed at the time being despite lowering infection as the government seeks to reach the “zero infection” target.
The government adviser said the impact from long holidays may not have fully emerged despite the drop in the daily case number and untraceable infections during the past week.
Hui told a radio program that the current manpower available to help collect specimens for Covid
-19 testing was reaching its limit. Authorities may, therefore, consider training immigration and customs staff to take samples for coronavirus
On mandatory tests imposed on residents and visitors at buildings, Hui said the arrangement was rolled out after discussions with health experts on the mainland.
He added the order, which requires people who have been to buildings found to be linked to at least two cases, is to flush out unknown sources and silent spreaders.
He said anti-epidemic measures in the mainland was even rougher, as mandatory tests on an entire building would be triggered if there’s only one linked unit.
On the same program, Hospital Authority’s Chief Executive Tony Ko Pat-sing said a temporary hospital near the AsiaWorld Expo in Lantau will start operations next month.
The hospital will be taking coronavirus
patients who have been transferred from the community treatment facility and require drug and oxygen therapy while manpower at the Expo will be mobilized.
Ko added the authority is also considering testing all of its medical staff regularly, and several hundred front-line medical workers who provide out-reach services for the elderly will undergo the test first.