Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong stated that the city will begin a campaign on Sept. 1 to check its entire population for coronavirus in the first attempt of this kind outside China.
The blitz will last for as long as two weeks, with the aid of Chinese experts and labs. All residents have the right to a free, one-time trial. This is on a voluntary basis unlike similar mass test drives in the Chinese towns of Wuhan and Dalian.
Hong Kong is going to be much better equipped to deal with the possible next wave of viruses now, according to Mrs Lam in a press briefing on Friday afternoon. She expressed gratitude to China for saying that Hong Kong should not have carried out mass tests alone.
The work will be carried out with the aid of a continental 60-person team, the first time that Chinese health officials have supported the special administrative region in their fight to combat the pandemic. The resource-intensive initiative could help crack secret transmission chains by identifying asymptomatic carriers, but it’s unknown how many of the more than 7 million people in the city will come forward to check.
As China tightens its hold on Hong Kong in the form of a contentious law on national security, the test drive backed by the mainland could provide a gage of mass sentiment against rising influence in China.
Hong Kong only has a relatively limited number of global events. More than 4,600 people have been contaminated since late January, of whom 75 died. Daily cases have fallen steadily, with 27 new infections reported Friday, following a resurgence of infections after the city imposed its strictest social distancing measures ever.
The Chinese government will cover the laboratory costs for the mass test drive while the authorities in Hong Kong will pay for sample collection, transportation and public promotion costs, according to Mrs Lam. China also bears the cost of constructing a Hong Kong Underground Hospital,
Testing samples would be discarded after the experiments have been completed, Mr Nip said, and would not be sent outside Hong Kong. Earlier in the region, activists raised fears that China could be using such a research blitz to gather DNA data. Kids under the age of six will not have to go for the mass exam. A text message will be sent to residents with a negative outcome, and those with good outcomes will receive a call from the health office to arrange hospitalization