Hong Kong, Dec 26 : Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced that the city government will expand community testing in order to identify silent carriers of the novel coronavirus as soon as possible and break transmission chains.
Lam made the remarks on Friday while visiting five private laboratories that assist the city government in carrying out the testing, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the government, the five labs belonged to five companies that are currently conducting 19 community testing centres across the city, with a combined capacity of over 20,000 tests a day.
At the request of the city government, the companies have also arranged mobile stations in areas with more confirmed cases to provide free testing to local residents or those who feel they are at high risk of infection.
The community testing centres and mobile stations have provided 500,000 tests since mid-November and identified over 600 confirmed cases.
After months of concerted efforts of the city government and the testing companies, the maximum testing capability of public and private laboratories has been significantly increased to about 100,000 per day.
Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) reported 57 new confirmed cases on Friday, taking its total tally to 8,481.
The new cases included 55 local infections, with 25 cases of unknown origin, while there were also about 50 preliminary cases.
Currently, 940 Covid-19 patients are being treated in public hospitals and the community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo, and 54 patients are in critical condition.
The latest CHP data showed the total number of Covid-19 deaths rose by one to 136 in Hong Kong.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.