Mainland medical staff would be dispatched to assist with H.K. massive coronavirus testing

2 Aug, 2020 20:38
source: Singularity Financial

Seven Chinese health officials arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first members of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread COVID-19 testing in the territory as it races to halt a third wave of illness.

The initiative marks the first time mainland health officials have assisted Hong Kong in its battle to control the epidemic.

But some local councilors raised concerns that China may be collecting DNA samples for surveillance purposes, said Reuters.

Hong Kong’s government has denied this.

According to SCMP report, the news came straight from Beijing – while the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) voiced its expected backing for the election postponement, it also announced at the same time that upon the request of the Hong Kong government, mainland medical staff would be dispatched to assist with massive coronavirus testing, and to help the city with setting up more temporary quarantine and treatment facilities.

HKMAO issued another statement the next day, revealing that the first batch, an advance team of seven mainland personnel, would arrive a day later on August 2. Others from some 20 public hospitals in neighbouring Guangdong province were also said to be standing by.

Beijing may have deliberately broken the news first – after all, it was a central government decision. Yet the lack of follow-up details from local authorities spoke volumes.

According to state broadcaster CCTV and some other mainland media, there would be free tests for all local residents – around 7.5 million people. Such a massive programme would require well-prepared collaboration from the Hong Kong side.