18 locals diagnosed with virus from more than 1m samplesLocal | 9 Sep 2020 11:21 am
The Secretary for Health, Sophia Chan Siu-chee said medical workers have collected specimens from more than 1.3 million people under the universal community testing scheme.
Speaking to an RTHK radio program, Chan said that of the 1.3 million collected, 1.03 million samples have been tested, of which 18 coronavirus patients have been found.
She said that the situation in Hong Kong has stabilized, but with some cases of no known origin being recorded in the daily count, all anti-epidemic curbs could not be eased at the same time.
Chan said that because the global coronavirus situation was quite serious, the number of confirmed cases may not go down to zero that quickly, and there may be sopradic cases for some time.
She said that if more people get tested under the universal test scheme, then that helps to authorities find silent transmissions of the virus, and will help them in the next stage of easing anti-epidemic curbs.
The health chief said authorities hope to lift a ban on venues like swimming pools, bars, karaoke lounges, sauna rooms and party rooms in the next phase of eased curbs if the situation improves.
The government has eased some restrictions like number of people allowed to gather in public – from two to four – and allowing four people per table in restaurants from Friday.
More venues would also be allowed to reopen, including mahjong parlours, games arcades and most sports venues.
Chan also said the government had contacted various firms over the procurement of vaccines against the virus and elderly people, patients with chronic illnesses and medical workers would be given priority to get the jabs once they are available.