18th October 2020 – (Hong Kong) Recently, the COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong have been very unstable and some experts said the epidemic may have entered the fourth wave. The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr.Sophia Chan, stated in her blog today (18th) that a total of 116 cases were recorded during the two weeks from 2nd to 15th of this month, of which 54 were local cases or related to local cases, accounting for approximately 53% and several clusters are involved. It is believed that there is still an invisible transmission chain in the community, and there are not many confirmed cases but they have a wide footprint, involving different districts and different types of premises, and the latest virus strain has a stronger transmission power, and the epidemic situation may worsen in a very short period of time. She urged those with symptoms to immediately undergo testing or seek medical attention.
She also pointed out that the government’s testing capabilities have been greatly improved in the past two months, and it will also actively study the establishment of temporary testing centres in areas with large numbers of cases or cluster outbreaks to facilitate the public to take the initiative to conduct testing to disrupt the community’s transmission chain as soon as possible.
Chan pointed out that the government set up temporary testing centres in Wan Chai, Kwai Tsing, Kowloon City and Yau Tsim Mong 4 districts last week, and collected more than 15,500 samples for testing. The 46 general outpatient clinics under the Hospital Authority also distributed sample collection kits and collected deep throat saliva samples. So far, the service centres have distributed more than 65,780 sample kits, and more than 39,800 samples have been tested, of which more than 71 samples were positive accounting for 0.18%.
As for the specific group testing program, since mid-July, 548,000 samples have been tested so far, of which 84 were confirmed to be positive after review by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health, which is about 0.02%.