Hong Kong govt to extend universal Covid-19 screening program

People wear masks on a train on the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Rat in Hong Kong on January 25, 2020, as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. (Photo by DALE DE LA REY / AFP). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HONG KONG, Sep 4, 2020, Xinhua. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government Friday decided to extend its universal screening program that aims to contain the spread of COVID-19, ECNS reported.

As of 11:00 a.m. local time on Friday, about 917,000 people have signed up online for the Universal Community Testing Program since it was launched on Tuesday and 521,000 samples have been collected, the HKSAR government’s Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip said at a press briefing.

In view of the program’s operation and the needs of the public over the past three days, the HKSAR government decided to extend the program by four days until Sept. 11, Nip said.

Of the 141 community testing centers across Hong Kong, 19 of them will stop running from Sept. 7 due to low usage, and the rest of the 122 will remain open during the program, he said.

The HKSAR government’s Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said that as of 10:00 a.m. local time on Friday, more than 208,000 samples have been tested for COVID-19, with six samples tested positive so far.

After visiting some testing centers over the past few days, Chan said that the sampling process was smooth, fast and convenient, and the medical staff members were professional, which was agreed by the public.

Chan urged the public to actively join the program so as to identify as early as possible asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the community and to cut the transmission chain.

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