Mass Testing Amid Predicted Surge in COVID-19

Story Highlights
  • Hong Kong mandates three rounds of COVID-19 tests from mid-March.
  • Authorities predict exponential rise in infections.
  • Research predicts 180,000 per day in the coming days..

Hong Kong: Hong Kong has mandated three rounds of COVID tests, the city’s leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday as crises surge. The densely populated metropolis where people live in high rise apartments and often share cramped lifts have been facing a huge surge with thousands being infected every day threatening to overwhelm hospitals and the city’s strict isolations system.

The mandate doubled down the city’s Zero COVID approach to being the response much closer to mainland China.  According to research, infections are predicted to peak at a staggering 180,000 a day next month.

Schools and multiple businesses such as gyms, salons, multiplexes will remain closed into late April, she said, as authorities battle an “exponential” rise in infections that have overwhelmed the healthcare system.

The measures are the most draconian to be implemented, two years into the pandemic in the global financial hub. Under the new rules, all 7.4 million people will go through three rounds of compulsory testing in March over a number of days. Meanwhile, the residents would have to take multiple rapid antigens tests every day at home. She added that the authorities were not considering a city-wide lockdown, like those in mainland China. The central government would however help to build a temporary hospital.

The recent statistics revealed only 7 deceased amongst the 102 were vaccinated against, while 63 others were elders with comorbidities.

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