Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (right) holds a press conference on measures to fight COVID-19 with Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan (left) at the Central Government Offices, Tamar, Hong Kong, April 13, 2022. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong’s voluntary three-day COVID self-test exercise from April 8 to 10 has achieved its goals, having identified 3,142 positive cases, 65 percent of which were asymptomatic, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Wednesday.
The campaign has found and isolated patients and allowed the government to better grasp the pandemic infection in the community and got residents used to self-tests, which would be a regular requirement for people attending large-scale activities in the future, she told her daily COVID-19 press briefing.
Two transitional housing projects and three public housing blocks currently used as community isolation facilities will be handed back to management organizations by the end of this month, said secretary for housing and transport Frank Chan Fan
Lam said various indicators have reflected that the fifth wave of the pandemic has greatly eased. The number of daily infections, positive samples detected in sewage surveillance or positive cases found in mandatory tests on residents in buildings that were sealed off have dropped by 90 percent since March 21, she said.
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With these results, two transitional housing projects and three public housing blocks currently used as community isolation facilities will be handed back to management organizations by the end of this month, said Frank Chan Fan, secretary for transport and housing.
The apartments will be disinfected and the household items installed there for isolation purposes will be removed before they’re handed back.
Lam said Hong Kong’s isolation facilities will still be adequate as the six community isolation projects built by the central government will not be dismantled in order to deal with possible outbreaks in future.
The government will announce details of the first phase of easing the city’s anti-COVID measures on Thursday. After the relaxation, residents attending activities with high infection risks will be required to carry out self-tests on the virus first.
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Lam said although physical classes are due to resume soon, the vaccination rate among children aged 3 to 11 who’ve received their first jab is only 62.9 percent. This means that 19,500 children in this category have yet to receive their first shot.
These figures are “unsatisfactory”, Lam said, urging parents to have their children vaccinated soon.