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Signing up for universal testing to start at 7am tomorrow

28 August 2020

By The SUN
 
Key government officials bare details of the universal testing, and urge all residents to take part
Government officials have again urged residents to sign up for the universal community testing for Covid-19 which starts on Sept 1, as they unveiled details of the scheme today, Aug 28.

All residents can sign up for the test starting at 7am tomorrow, Saturday, by logging in to a dedicated website: https://www.communitytest.gov.hk/. Foreign domestic workers are being encouraged to join their employers in taking part in the exercise.

The mass testing will last for seven days, but depending on demand, could be extended for another week.
“For yourself, your loved ones, our hardworking medical staff and the wider community, you should join the testing,” Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip said at the press conference this morning.
                                                                                  
A total of 141 makeshift testing sites have been set up across 18 districts, made up mostly of government-run schools, community halls and sports centres. They will be open from 8am to 8pm to take samples for the entire duration of the exercise

Other centres include the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai,  International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kowloon Bay, Science Park in Sha Tin, MacPherson Stadium in Mong Kok and Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Among the government schools on the list are the North Point, Shau Kei Wan and Hennesy Road primary schools; Kwun Tong, Tin Shui Wai, Tuen Mun secondary schools; as well as Queen’s College.

Among the districts, Yuen Long has the most number of centres with 14, while Islands district is on the other end, with just one.

Nip again explained that those who test negative for Covid-19 would receive their results via text message within three days, while those whose result is positive would get a call from the Department of Health.
 
Promotional video shows social distancing protocols that will be followed during the mass testing

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan also called on the public to join the testing exercise, saying “this is a very important prevention measure, the purpose (of which) is to identify those carrying the virus for early treatment, and to stop the spread of the virus in the community.”
Chan said that in the early stage of the outbreak, between January and June, only 350 tests were carried out, but since the third wave began in mid-July until today, about 950,000 tests have been conducted.

About half, or 420,000 of these tests were administered to those in high-risk groups such as care home staff, taxi and bus drivers, as well as market vendors.

But she said universal testing is necessary to detect the silent carriers and break the invisible transmission in the community.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

To prepare for additional cases that might be detected from the mass testing, Chan said 1,250 isolation beds and 500 second-tier beds in isolation wards have been readied, as well as about 1,000 additional beds in the community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo.

On top of these, she said 350 tier-2 isolation beds are on standby at the Lei Yue Mun treatment center to admit recovering patients and those in stable condition.

Both Nip and Chan thanked about 6,000 health personnel, including doctors, nurses, and even teachers and students at medical schools who have expressed their willingness to take part in the exercise.

Nip said flexible arrangements will be implemented to allow civil servants to go and take the test during office hours. Private businesses have also been asked to allow their employees to do the same.

Thomas Chan, permanent secretary for food and health, said up to 600 mainlanders would be involved in lab testing, while sample collection would be done by Hongkongers.

But Nip again said there was no reason to fear privacy as personal data collected for testing would be encrypted and stored in government servers. Testing agencies would be able to see only codes on the sample bottles.

All information from people who test negative would remain in Hong Kong and would be destroyed after a month.

Dr Constance Chan, director of health, said the community testing scheme was designed for asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Those with symptoms should not take the test and should consult a doctor instead.





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