Experts wants Hubei returnees to be tested for virusLocal | 26 Mar 2020 4:12 pm
An expert in respiratory medicine said today that the government should test the hundreds of Hong Kong residents evacuated from Hubei province this week for the new coronavirus.
Speaking on an RTHK program, Chinese University Professor David Hui, who is on the government panel tasked with tackling the pandemic, said all of the evacuees should be made to provide deep throat saliva samples for testing.
Some 280 Hong Kong people flew home from Hubei on charter flights organised by the government on Wednesday. Another two flights to carry around 220 people home are scheduled for today.
The government says it believes these returnees have a low risk of infection, because they are coming back from areas quite far away from virus epicentre Wuhan, and says in any case the coronavirus situation on the mainland has significantly improved.
Those flying back are allowed to go home to self-isolate for two weeks, without having to go to quarantine centers.
Hui also raised concerns over the latest situation on the mainland, as people without coronavirus symptoms are not considered confirmed cases of the virus, even if they test positive.
He said this is worrying, as asymptomatic people can also be infected and spread the virus.
He said as people on the mainland resume work, there could be a second wave of infections.
Mainland authorities have recently reported no, or very few, new domestic cases of the coronavirus each day, but have recorded a spike in infected people coming in from abroad.