Deep throat saliva test to be replaced by nasal sampling for compulsory testing

Local | 8 Sep 2021 12:39 pm

Starting today, most Hongkongers who are subject to compulsory Covid-19 testing will have to go undergo nasal and throat swab sampling instead of having their deep throat saliva collected.

They must now go to mobile specimen collection stations, 18 community testing centers or recognized local medical testing institutions to undergo professional swab sampling in order to fulfil the requirements for compulsory testing.

“The new arrangement will enhance the reliability of compulsory testing, making it more effective in the course of securing the protective barrier of Hong Kong," a government spokesman said.

People who must now accept nasal and throat swab sampling include:

- Those who have been to premises visited by a confirmed case

- Those subject to compulsory testing in relation to an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection or influenza-like illness in a school

Those who arrive in Hong Kong from today onwards must also undergo testing with professional swab sampling. They include:

- Arrivals in Hong Kong who have completed compulsory quarantine or isolation in a designated quarantine hotel or at home but still need to undergo compulsory testing

- Arrivals in Hong Kong under the Return2hk Scheme

- Arrivals in Hong Kong under the Come2hk Scheme soon to be launched

Compulsory testing using deep throat saliva specimens will continue to be conducted under certain circumstances, such as testing provided by medical practitioners for suspected symptomatic patients; testing for inbound travelers during home quarantine or isolation; confirmatory tests for inbound travelers staying at quarantine hotels or quarantine facilities; and testing for persons who are incapable of receiving professional swab sampling due to health or age reasons.

Deep throat saliva tests will still be available for members of the public who want to undergo Covid-19 tests on a voluntary basis. Such specimen collection packs will remain available free-of-charge through various channels, including general outpatient clinics of the Hospital Authority, post offices and distribution points at MTR stations.



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