Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Hong Kong asks the entire population to test themselves for COVID | Nation World News

Authorities in Hong Kong on Saturday asked the entire population of more than 7.4 million people to voluntarily test themselves for COVID-19 at home for three days in a row from next week.

The announcement by CEO Carrie Lam on Saturday came as the southern Chinese city struggled to contain a fifth wave of infections that led to mixed signals about testing and locking up.

Lam said a “mandatory, universal test” of the entire population is still essential, but did not say when that could happen. Authorities rejected the idea after a previous announcement caused panic calls.

The prospect of further school closures and other disruptions caught the government between calls to relax restrictions and Beijing’s demand for an extreme “zero-COVID” approach that requires restrictions and mass testing.

Uphill that decreases

Hong Kong on Friday lifted a ban on Hong Kong residents returning on board flights from nine countries where COVID-19 cases have increased, including Britain and the US

Hong Kong reported that another 5,820 cases were detected on Friday as the latest surge began to subside.

Meanwhile, in Shanghai in the north, authorities are struggling to meet requirements for a lockout of many of the city’s 26 million residents – the largest such venture by China since the virus first appeared in central Wuhan city at the end of 2019 has been detected.

Shanghai is in the process of implementing a two-phase, eight-day closure, but many of those on the eastern, or Pudong, side of the city who should have been free to leave their connections on Friday have remained in isolation.

Authorities, meanwhile, have put the other half of the city, Puxi, under isolation with non-essential businesses and public transport coming to a halt and roads being cleared of cars and people. A total of 14 million Puxi residents were tested according to state media on Friday.

Residents under isolation complained about difficulties in obtaining food, household items and medication, while beds and staff at isolation centers were allegedly insufficient for the number of asymptomatic patients and others brought there for observation.

China on Saturday detected another 2,086 confirmed cases, including 260 in Shanghai, and 7,789 asymptomatic cases, of which 6,051 were in Shanghai. The total number of new cases is near record highs for a few days.

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