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Universal screening helps Hong Kong break through COVID-19 testing bottleneck: expert

(Xinhua)    10:09, September 05, 2020

HONG KONG, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing universal screening helps Hong Kong to break through the bottleneck of testing work of COVID-19, Gabriel Leung, an adviser to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on COVID-19, told Xinhua on Friday.

Leung, also Dean of Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said that the HKSAR government's Universal Community Testing Program can help address the problem of inadequate testing in Hong Kong since the COVID-19 outbreak.

He expected Hong Kong to have a fourth or even fifth wave in autumn and winter, when vaccine supplies may not be available. Therefore, preparations should be made in advance and the program can help enhance the screening and to clear off the third wave of the epidemic.

The program was launched on Tuesday by the HKSAR government. As of 8 p.m. local time Friday, about 953,000 persons had made appointments and about 284,800 samples collected had been tested, according to the HKSAR government.

Eight samples were tested positive so far. Among them, four were previously confirmed cases, and the other four were new cases. Leung said if the whole population of 7.5 million people in Hong Kong were tested, it is expected that about 400 silent carriers would be found out, in which about 140 of them have second-generation transmission capability.

The more people are tested, the faster the second-generation transmission chain can be found, he stressed, urging the public to actively participate in the screening program so as to end the third wave as soon as possible.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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