Hong Kong embarks on mass Covid testing amid criticism

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Hong Kong is battling repeated surges in infections

Hong Kong has begun a free common Covid-19 testing programme, regardless of criticism that it’s not efficient and may very well be misused for surveillance.

The voluntary mass testing is being carried out with the assistance of medical employees from mainland China.

A well being employees union has criticised the hassle as an inefficient waste of assets whereas activists have stated it may very well be used to gather DNA samples.

Authorities have dismissed the criticism as a smear marketing campaign.

Why is Hong Kong doing the mass testing?

Hong Kong has to date managed to maintain the virus at a relatively low degree with slightly below 5,000 confirmed infections.

However there are fears that a number of smaller waves would possibly result in a bigger outbreak which might then spiral uncontrolled.

Authorities hope the common testing effort will give an correct image of the unfold and assist to include the pandemic.

Testing obtained underneath manner on Tuesday with greater than half 1,000,000 residents to date having registered. Hong Kong has a inhabitants of about 7.5 million.

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Authorities hope to principally take a look at each resident

Well being employees are taking samples at greater than 140 assortment centres throughout the town.

China has beforehand examined your entire inhabitants of Wuhan, the town which noticed the primary and worst outbreak inside China.

Why is the testing controversial?

A union of healthcare employees has criticised the challenge, saying mass testing isn’t an environment friendly approach to deal with the pandemic.

The 20,000 member sturdy Hospital Authority Staff Alliance stated centered exams could be a significantly better manner to make use of assets.

Union chief Winnie Yu has known as on folks to not take part and informed reporters the large testing was basically being achieved to please Beijing.

“They shall do no matter they’ll to please the central authorities of China, even when it means inserting politics above all issues else,” she stated.

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Winnie Yu has requested folks to boycott the testing

Well being specialists are additionally elevating considerations that defective exams would possibly return false negatives and that as many as 5 million folks would wish to get examined to finish the present third wave of infections.

An ongoing crackdown on authorities critics in Hong Kong is undermining belief with authorities.

Some activists have voiced fears the samples is likely to be used to reap residents’ private information and DNA.

Outstanding pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has additionally urged folks to boycott the voluntary testing.

He stated it “fuels extra considerations that the plan is a large-scale DNA assortment,” making a manner for a “China-style surveillance regime”.

Tensions are excessive between pro-democracy teams in Hong Kong and the Chinese language authorities after Beijing imposed a brand new nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong in June.

The broad-sweeping legislation, which was broadly criticised internationally, permits for all times in jail for these China determines to have engaged in acts of secession, subversion and collusion with international forces.

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