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Hong Kong embarks on mass Covid testing amid criticism

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Hong Kong embarks on mass Covid testing amid criticism

Hong Kong is battling repeated surges in infections Hong Kong has begun a free universal Covid-19 testing programme, despite criticism that it is not effective and could be misused for surveillance.

The voluntary mass testing is being conducted with the help of medical staff from mainland China.

A health workers union has criticised the effort as an inefficient waste of resources while activists have said it could be used to collect DNA samples.

Authorities have dismissed the criticism as a smear campaign. Why is Hong Kong doing the mass testing?

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Hong Kong has so far managed to keep the virus at a comparatively low level with just under 5,000 confirmed infections.

But there are fears that several smaller waves might lead to a larger outbreak which could then spiral out of control.

Authorities hope the universal testing effort will give an accurate picture of the spread and help to contain the pandemic.Testing got under way on Tuesday with more than half a million residents so far having registered. Hong Kong has a population of about 7.5 million. Authorities hope to basically test every resident Health workers are taking samples at more than 140 collection centres across the city.China has previously tested the entire population of Wuhan, the city which saw the first and worst outbreak within China. Did China test a whole city in 10 days? Why is the testing controversial? A union of healthcare workers has criticised the project, saying mass testing is not an efficient way to tackle the pandemic.The 20,000 member strong Hospital Authority Employees Alliance said focused tests would be a much better way to use resources.Union […]

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