Hong Kong orders required COVID-19 assessments for all residents

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Hong Kong will take a look at its overall inhabitants of 7.5 million persons for COVID-19 in March, the city’s leader mentioned Tuesday, as it grapples with its worst outbreak pushed by the omicron variant.

The populace will be tested 3 moments in March, Hong Kong Chief Government Carrie Lam stated.

She said screening potential will be boosted to 1 million a day or far more.

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“Since we have a populace of some 7 million people today, testing will take about seven times,” she explained.

Hong Kong has documented about 5,000 new day-to-day bacterial infections considering that Feb. 15, with the scenarios threatening to overwhelm its healthcare method. Considering that the present surge started at the beginning of the yr, the metropolis has recorded practically 54,000 conditions and 145 fatalities.

The purchase for citywide testing comes right after mainland Chinese authorities dispatched epidemiologists, health and fitness staff and other professional medical assets final week to assist incorporate the outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese town.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday,  Feb. 22, 2022. 

Hong Kong Main Government Carrie Lam speaks for the duration of a press meeting in Hong Kong, Tuesday,  Feb. 22, 2022. 
(WHD Picture/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong has mainly aligned alone with mainland China’s “zero-COVID-19” coverage, which aims to totally stamp out outbreaks, even as many other nations around the world are shifting their solution to dwelling with the virus.

Lockdowns of total towns have been imposed in a quantity of regions of the mainland, but Lam stated no such measure is at this time staying deemed in Hong Kong for the reason that it is “not sensible.”

She also denied that the central Chinese federal government is offering guidelines to Hong Kong on how to take care of the epidemic.

“I reiterate that the central governing administration in no way issued any guidelines on our anti-epidemic work,” she stated. “The central govt will present aid as necessary or upon our ask for, but of program we will usually exchange our views.”


The “zero-COVID-19” approach indicates that Hong Kong authorities frequently consider actions these types of as locking down residential estates for mass testing when beneficial instances are detected, imposing stringent quarantine necessities on tourists and buying the shuttering of corporations.

The fast surge of bacterial infections in the city has threatened to overwhelm its health care system.

Wellbeing officers said last week that hospitals were presently at 90% of capability and isolation facilities ended up comprehensive. People today who check constructive for the virus in Hong Kong need to possibly be admitted to a hospital or a quarantine facility.

Residents line up to get tested for the coronavirus at a temporary testing center despite the rain in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.  

Inhabitants line up to get examined for the coronavirus at a short term tests center despite the rain in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.  
(WHD Photo/Kin Cheung)

Lam acknowledged on Tuesday that the city’s isolation amenities are “seriously inadequate” and that it is “working very challenging with the total aid of the central authorities” to develop additional.

Present-day social-distancing actions, this sort of as a ban on dining at eating places just after 6 p.m. and the closure of businesses this kind of as gyms and bars, will be extended until finally April 20.

“This is not great news to the sectors impacted, but genuinely at this phase of the pandemic we have no decision but to choose these measures,” Lam reported.

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She mentioned the metropolis hopes to enhance its vaccination rate to 90% by early March.

Other actions declared Tuesday include things like ending the faculty yr early and transferring the regular July-August summer time holiday seasons forward to March and April so that schools can be turned into facilities for tests, isolation and vaccination.

Flight bans from nations categorised as significant threat, including Australia, Canada, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Britain and the U.S., will be extended to April 20.

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