A pharmacy in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay sells COVID-19 Rapid Tests on Feb 22, 2022. [Photo/IC]

HONG KONG — Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam on Friday urged the public to take part in the three-day voluntary COVID-19 rapid testing exercise, which allows the HKSAR government to better understand the current epidemic situation in the community so as to plan for future anti-epidemic work.

Hong Kong started on Friday a voluntary rapid antigen test (RAT) for COVID-19 exercise for three consecutive days. Lam told a press conference that the exercise helps the HKSAR government to identify infected cases in the community as soon as possible so that infected people can receive appropriate isolation and treatment, or home isolation support, thus cutting the chain of transmission.

The HKSAR government began to distribute anti-epidemic service bags, containing 20 RAT kits each, to all households in Hong Kong. As of Thursday evening, 3.05 million bags have been distributed to 2.7 million households, Lam said.

In the fifth wave of the epidemic in Hong Kong, most of the deaths were people aged 60 or above, accounting for more than 95 percent of the total number of deaths

Secretary for Food and Health of the HKSAR government Sophia Chan said at the same press conference that despite the rising vaccination rate of the elderly, it is estimated that there are still nearly 370,000 people aged 60 or above in Hong Kong who have not been vaccinated.

Chan reiterated that timely vaccination of the second, third and fourth doses of vaccines can greatly reduce the risk of severe illness and death after infection.

On Friday, Hong Kong registered 1,227 new COVID-19 cases by nucleic acid tests, and 1,265 additional positive cases through self-reported rapid antigen tests, official data showed.

作者 admin_philip