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CE says rapid tests might be mandated, as Covid cases drop anew to 6,646

31 March 2022

By The SUN 

CE Lam joins the packing of anti-epidemic bags that include rapid test kits, masks and medicines

Chief Executive Carrie Lam says the government is looking into requiring everyone in the city to take rapid antigen tests to get a better grip of the local Covid-19 situation.

Speaking at her daily press briefing, CE Lam said this is not the time to conduct universal PCR testing as the city’s infection is still raging, but using rapid tests could be a good alternative.

"Can we make use of this relatively accurate and convenient tool to find out Hong Kong's infection status within a short period of time? We will make an announcement soon," she said.


Rapid test kits will be part of the anti-epidemic bags that will be distributed to about three million household starting this coming Saturday. Also included are KN95 masks, Chinese medicines and information brochures.

Meanwhile, the health officials announced that the number of confirmed Covid cases dropped slightly on Thursday, to 6,646, while 119 new deaths were recorded.

The new infections included 2,859 confirmed through PCR tests and a further 3,787 from positive rapid test results.


While the number has fallen below 10,000 for the past six consecutive days, the figure is still high, said undersecretary for food and health Dr Chui Tsak-yi.

Infection numbers in four digits indicate a situation that is far more severe than the biggest single-daily of 149 recorded in the fourth wave, Chui said.

He reminded everyone not to flock to graves and columbariums this coming weekend or the Ching Ming Festival on Tuesday, saying a super-spreader can easily cause another outbreak.


Responding to a reporter’s query about the possible increase in imported cases when the flight ban on nine countries is lifted starting tomorrow, CHP’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said the risk is not that big considering since many people in the city have already been infected.

But she said officials will monitor the situation in case any new variants emerge.

Among today’s cases were seven that were imported, involving two air crew arriving from Germany and five travelers from Thailand, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

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Of the newly reported fatalities, 102 passed away at public hospitals in the past 24 hours while 17 deaths were not reported on time.

Three were aged below 60 years old, and they suffered from chronic diseases or cancer.

A total of 7,612 people with Covid have died in the Omicron outbreak. Their median age was 86.

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