CHINA HK urged to conduct city-wide mass testing as daily infections rise


HK urged to conduct city-wide mass testing as daily infections rise

Global Times

17:59, November 30, 2020

Pedestrians wearing face masks wait to cross a road in Hong Kong, south China, Nov. 21, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will suspend face-to-face classes and school activities in all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools on Wednesday as daily infections rise. Health experts suggested that conducting nucleic acid tests on the city's entire population would be the most efficient way of cutting off the source of infection.

Hong Kong on Monday reported 76 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. It announced 115 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the highest number of confirmed cases in a single day since August. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Monday that the city was in severe situation.

Of the confirmed cases in HKSAR, 24 were of unknown origin and 62 were related to a cluster that emerged in a dance community, said Zhang Zhujun, director of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP). So far, the dance group has a total of 479 confirmed cases.

China's top respiratory diseases expert Zhong Nanshan said Friday at a conference that conducting nucleic acid tests on the entire population is a top priority for the HKSAR.

Zhong also pointed out that the new confirmed cases in Hong Kong are a dangerous sign that requires serious attention. In addition, asymptomatic infected persons are highly contagious, especially in the five or six days prior to the onset of symptoms. Citywide nucleic acid testing can separate confirmed patients from healthy people and cut off the source of infection in a timely manner.

China's leading infectious disease specialist and head of the Shanghai COVID-19 medical team Zhang Wenhong said at the Shanghai Science Communication Forum on Saturday that testing the entire population is the most efficient approach in the context of new cases in HKSAR, and the sooner the testing is done, the better.

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