2 COVID-19 Cases At Office To Trigger Mandatory Testing
HONG KONG – At least 2 positive cases of any kind within a workplace will trigger a mandatory testing for all employees there, while the rule for residential buildings is more stringent as the authorities will test everyone if 1 untraceable infection is discovered, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Monday afternoon (1 February, SGT).
Under Hong Kong’s tougher screening rules, which took effect on Monday, the government is set to compulsorily test 7 buildings, but no workplaces have been impacted yet. The authorities will also mandatorily test areas where derived sewage samples are found to have traces of the virus.
Moreover, the government imposed 4 more lockdowns to screen residents in buildings at Yuen Long, Hung Hom, and Hung Hom, as well as a location in Yau Ma Tei, with the operations ending at 7am on Tuesday (2 February).
Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary, said that the battle against COVID-19 is at a “critical point” and the public are warned to expect at least 1 lockdown per day moving forward.
“We hope to adopt a more aggressive approach in the next 2 weeks so we can consider relaxing social-distancing rules after Lunar New Year,” he explained.
The scale of the daily lockdowns would be similar to those done at Laguna City private residential estate in Lam Tin and the Tung Fat Building in North Point.
“In the coming 10 days… we will be more extensively and frequently targeting areas with more cases, buildings of poor quality or those with sewage samples testing positive for the virus. Our aim – before a transmission chain is formed in a building – is to swiftly test everyone there.”
The objective of the more stringent testing rules is to reduce the daily caseload to under 20 by the Lunar New Year – a number that means that the virus outbreak is under control. While the daily caseload had been on the downtrend since last week, it fluctuated between 28 and 53 over the past 4 days.
On Monday, the government announced 34 new confirmed infections, 8 of which were untraceable, while 5 were imported. Overall, Hong Kong has recorded a total of 10,486 COVID-19 cases and 182 related fatalities.