CE explains 3-day self-test exercise

April 2, 2022

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government today invited all people in Hong Kong to do a rapid antigen test (RAT) for three days in a row from April 8 to 10.


The invitation came as the Government began distributing anti-epidemic service bags, which include 20 RAT kits, to households across the city.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam explained at a press conference this morning that the goal of the voluntary testing exercise is to identify all infected COVID-19 cases immediately.


“We are seeing a downward trend in the number of cases and the various indicators that we are monitoring - like the sewage tests, like the preliminary positive cases in a restriction-testing declaration, the positive rate among the tests taken at the community testing centres and so on.


“But the absolute numbers are still high. Yesterday, it was close to 6,000 cases. So that suggests that we still have quite a number of silent transmissions in the community. So it will be to the benefit of all of us, to the community at large, to try to identify all these infected cases as soon as possible.”


Because the testing is conducted on a voluntary basis, she encouraged all residents to co-operate by testing themselves, using RAT kits, for three consecutive days. Only people who test positive must report such results to the Department of Health’s Centre for Health Protection within 24 hours.


“It is a voluntary exercise, so we can only appeal to people's co-operation, riding on their aspiration to resume normal daily living as soon as possible and also to be able to travel.


“In order to do that, as I have mentioned many, many times in tackling a public health crisis - whether in vaccination, in testing or in isolation - we need the full co-operation and support of the people. We do not just rely on legal instruments. We have to appeal to people's co-operation, understanding and participation. So this is an exercise of this nature.”


The Chief Executive stressed that the move is not intended as a replacement for its plans of conducting the Compulsory Universal Testing scheme, which may still be necessary and essential to eliminate the spread of the virus in the city.


The Government will have to further monitor the best timing for launching a compulsory universal testing exercise, she added.

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