CHP apologises for hiccups in testings at Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre


14th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) Under COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong, a large number of close contacts were sent to the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre causing chaos. A days ago, a 72-year-old woman was mistaken by the system as a 30-year-old woman.

Dr.Edwin Tsui, Controller of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) explained today (14th) that since there were several large gathering cases that required testing at that time including a church cluster, human error was resulted and there was failure to enter the quarantine registration information on the system. Hence, relevant persons were not tested. After the incident, the authorities have checked all computer records, retrieved the relevant cases and accelerated the testing progress. The Hong Kong government also apologised for the unpleasant incident of the quarantined persons.

Tsui continued to point out that some quarantined persons had an “imperfect experience” during the quarantine period. From last Thursday to yesterday (6th to 13th), 600 emergency tests were carried out, of which about 60 people in quarantine were held up for 1-2 days more.

Tsui apologised for the incident, and the CHP has dispatched additional staff to 1,000 to handle the huge demand for quarantine. He pointed out that persons in quarantine can be divided into three categories, including close contacts of confirmed cases who need to be isolated for 14 to 21 days, household contacts of close contacts who need to be isolated for 4 days and those returning from high-risk areas who need to be quarantined for 4 days days before completing the remaining 17 days of quarantine at designated quarantine hotels. However, with the outbreak of the fifth wave, there have been many large cluster outbreaks in Hong Kong, hence complaints have also emerged, including failure to arrange testings in time.

Since last Thursday, more than 2,100 people have been sent for quarantine, during which about 600 emergency tests have been conducted, and about 60 people have left the quarantine centre one to two days later. Systematic supervision will be strengthened to ensure that no information is missed.