Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK sees zero COVID-19 cases, allows lab to resume virus testing

A star ferry crosses the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on August 22, 2021.
(BERTHA  WANG / AFP)

HONG KONG- Hong Kong recorded no new COVID-19 infections on Thursday as the government decided to allow a private laboratory to resume mobile testing services for the public.

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the Centre for Health Protection said the city's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases remained at 12,113.

It added that a total of 71 cases were reported from Aug 19 to Sept 1, all of them imported.

The Centre for Health Protection said the city's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases remained at 12,113

As of Wednesday, around 4,162,100 residents have taken at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot while 3,475,600 have been fully vaccinated, the government said. 

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Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government said it allowed BGI to resume testing services after it complied with the recommendations of the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency to avoid future lapses.

“In view of the positive responses of the private laboratory concerned and the follow-up and improvement actions carried out, the government will allow the laboratory, as one of the nine community testing centre (CTC) operators, to resume operating mobile specimen collection stations with effect from September this year when necessary,” a government statement reads.

BGI got into hot water after it erroneously reported in April that 28 individuals had tested positive for the virus. The false positive results were later determined to have been caused by cross–contamination in the samples.

ln May, the government again warned BGI after mistakes were made that led to negative COVID -19 test results being sent to a wrong mobile number or not being sent at all.

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The government said it invited the HKQAA to conduct a third-party audit on the private laboratory in late-April.

After the audit, the HKQAA recommended that BGI ensure proper management of the laboratory; implement preventive measures, such as more stringent control on the testing environment of the laboratory to reduce the risk of contamination; and put in place corrective measures, such as establishing proper procedures for laboratory staff to detect, report and follow up on laboratory incidents

The government added that it also shared the recommendations with the other eight CTC operators for reference to ensure proper delivery of testing services to the public.