Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said on Tuesday it would require more than seven million of its residents to undergo coronavirus testing by March, Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam said. Tuesday, as the territory struggles to contain the worst of the outbreak.
Residents will have to take three tests in a short time, starting in March. And Hong Kong will expand its testing capacity to one million tests a day from about 200,000 tests a day next month, Lam said at a news conference.
Hong Kong has come under pressure from pro-Beijing politicians to enforce some of the aggressive measures that have been used to quell outbreaks in mainland China, including a citywide lockdown. city and comprehensive inspection. But Hong Kong lacks many tools, such as full-fledged HR and motion-tracking apps, to perform such extensive exercises. Lam had previously denied mass testing, saying that Hong Kong did not have the capacity to process so many samples in a short period of time.
But the latest wave of infections, which brought the total number of cases in the city past two years earlier and flooded hospitals, has forced authorities to expand their efforts. New isolation facilities are being built to house coronavirus patients, and a large-scale hospital is also being planned. Mainland experts arrived last week to assist with testing and will also help build new infrastructure, Lam said.
Lam added that the summer break for primary and secondary school students will be moved to March and April for schools to serve as testing, isolation and vaccination sites. In addition, more isolation units will be built to raise capacity to 28,000 next month from about 5,000 currently. Lam said 10,000 more units will be built in the spring. Hotels previously used for isolation will also be used to isolate people with mild illnesses.
The territory still maintains a policy of sending all Covid patients to a hospital or isolation facility, but the most recent surge in cases has left 30,000 infected people waiting at home because of a lack of space in the hospital, Lam said. speak.
Hong Kong is widely seen as a world leader in controlling the coronavirus pandemic, but the wave of Omicron infections that began late last year overwhelmed the country’s defenses. It has recorded 145 deaths and more than 53,000 cases of coronavirus this year, compared with 213 deaths and more than 12,000 cases in 2020 and 2021, according to government data.
Researchers at the University of Hong Kong, who previously forecast that more than 950 people will die in the current wave, have raised that number to more than 3,200citing the ineffectiveness of existing social distancing measures.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/world/asia/hong-kong-coronavirus-testing.html Hong Kong will require its residents to be tested in March