Bldgs In HK To Undergo Mandatory COVID-19 Testing

29 Office Bldgs In HK To Undergo Mandatory COVID-19 Testing

HONG KONG – The government announced on Friday that occupants of 80 residential developments and workplaces, many of which are located within Central, will need to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing, reported Reuters on Saturday (13 March).

Of the 80, nearly 30 are office buildings occupied by major law firms such as Allen & Overy, Shearman & Sterling, and Herbert Smith Freehills, while others are office spaces utilised by multinational banks like HSBC, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, and Credit Suisse. The complete list of affected buildings can be found in this link.

Notably, authorities in Hong Kong will post compulsory testing notices on places where at least 1 infection was discovered, or if the property’s sewage samples tested positive.

These notices require people who have stayed in the above listed premises for over 2 hours from 27 February to 12 March to go through a nucleic acid test by 15 March 2021. Free testing is offered at community testing centres or mobile specimen collection stations put up in different districts across the city. People who fail to comply will face a fine of HK$5,000.

The government’s move comes as 35 of the 47 new cases on Saturday were related to Ursus Fitness, a gym in Sai Ying Pun district that is frequented by expatriates such as lawyers, bankers, and hedge fund executives.

In a briefing, Hong Kong’s Department of Health revealed that so far, 99 cases have been verified as being connected to Ursus Fitness.

“The fourth wave was never over, (because) the case numbers haven’t gone down to zero. Now, I’m worried it may rebound quickly,” said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, who works for the bureau.

Overall, Hong Kong has seen roughly 11,200 COVID-19 cases, which is significantly less than other developed metropolises. Its government has also vaccinated 162,100 people so far out of its 7.5 million population.

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