Govt to supply seniors with RAT kits

April 13, 2022

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


The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 1,272 additional COVID-19 cases. The Government will supply free COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits to the elderly from April 19 to May 31.


At a press briefing this afternoon, Under Secretary for Food & Health Chui Tak-yi said the move aims to support and encourage the elderly to conduct testing for early identification of infected people and curb community transmission chains.


He said: “It is well known that elderly people belong to high risk groups. When reviewing the latest data, we can see the mortality figure among the 8,000-plus death cases, nearly 96% of the cases belong to the age group of 60 or above.


“Also, currently we have effective anti-viral medication to be given at the early stage of COVID-19 illness for the onset of symptoms. It will reduce the risk of getting more severe symptoms or even death. So, with this effective treatment measure, early diagnosis is important for the elderly.


“I think it is important to provide more accessibility to test kits to this age group of people.”


District Health Centres (DHC) and DHC Expresses under the Food & Health Bureau, Elderly Health Centres under the Department of Health, District Elderly Community Centres, Neighbourhood Elderly Centres or Social Centre for the Elderly subsidised by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) will supply free RAT kits to service recipients aged 60 or above.


Other supply channels cover Day Care Centres or Units for the Elderly, Integrated Home Care Services Teams, Enhanced Home & Community Care Services Teams and Recognised Service Providers of the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly subsidised by the SWD.


Seniors can also collect the kits at 18 district-based Chinese Medicine Clinics & Training & Research Centres operating on a tripartite collaboration model involving the Hospital Authority, non-government organisations and a local university.


Also at the press briefing, the centre's Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan pointed out that among the new cases, 734 were detected by nucleic acid tests while 538 were identified via rapid antigen tests. Twelve of them are imported and the rest are locally infected.


Concluding the results of the three-day self-test exercise from April 8 to 10, Dr Chuang said 3,142 positive COVID-19 cases were reported through the RAT online reporting platform.


This afternoon, the Government made restriction-testing declarations to cover Cheung Yue House, Cheung Wah Estate in Fanling and Block 10, Tsui Chuk Garden in Wong Tai Sin, citing the viral load in sewage, information of relevant positive cases and other circumstantial factors.


People in the restricted areas must undergo compulsory testing before the specified deadline.


Separately, due to a number of positive cases, 40 specified places are included in a compulsory testing notice.


The Government will set up mobile specimen collection stations at Chuk Yuen North Estate in Wong Tai Sin, King Shan Court in Ngau Chi Wan and On Yam Estate in Kwai Chung tomorrow.


For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government’s dedicated webpage.

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