Hong Kong postpones mass testing amid deadly COVID outbreak

Hong Kong postpones mass testing amid deadly COVID outbreak
FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk on the street, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Hong Kong, China March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

On Wednesday, between the platform where you can submit positive COVID test results and nucleic acid tests, the city saw nearly 60,000 new infections.

For about two weeks, Hong Kong residents were stripping grocery and market shelves and stalls bare while they anxiously waited for more details about the mass testing plans. During this period, there were fears that the city would see a China-style lockdown, even though the city’s leader Carrie Lam repeatedly insisted that a “wholesale” lockdown wouldn’t happen.

On Wednesday, in her first major press conference in two weeks, Lam said that the government would postpone the mass testing and direct its energy to vaccinate and help the elderly – especially those in aged care facilities, which are seeing a spike in deaths.

“I cannot say that we definitely won’t” do the mass testing, said Lam. “But if we will, and once we have a detailed plan and timetable, we will definitely announce it as early as possible.”

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