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Mandatory testing criteria tighten

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Centre for Health Protection announced any residential building that records a confirmed COVID-19 case, regardless of whether it is traceable or not, will be included in the compulsory testing notice starting today.   Centre for Health Protection Controller Dr Ronald Lam explained to reporters at a press briefing this afternoon that the measure seeks to prevent transmission chains from forming.   He said: “There are quite a number of asymptomatic cases detected from the Hong Kong International Airport Three-runway System construction site cluster outbreak. Imagine these asymptomatic people going back to their homes or residential places, that could possibly constitute another undetected transmission chain.   “As such, the reasons why we further reinforce the compulsory testing in the form of a compulsory testing notice is to stay one step ahead, to prevent that from happening. If there is even one case, be it linked or unlinked, we impose that compulsory testing and then with that very vigilant type of ring-fencing, we could, we believe, detect these cases earlier, especially for asymptomatic ones."   Dr Lam stressed that now is a critical time to strengthen anti-epidemic measures.   “Please also note that we are right now at a very important crossroad. You can see the daily cases are swinging up and down a bit, so it is quite critical that we have to further strengthen the measures in order to bring down the cases. We would try to target zero cases, but that would rely on the co-operation and collaboration of all the citizens and all members of the society.   “We are using a multipronged strategy to try to win this battle against the epidemic. These kinds of tools include issuing compulsory testing notices as well as restriction-testing declarations.   “If the result that comes back is negative, we will be happy because it shows that at least at that snapshot of time, no apparent transmission chain exists. But if we detect cases, of course on the other hand, we would think that we have an opportunity to interrupt that transmission chain from further promulgating.”
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