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Hong Kong’s top aim is to reduce COVID infections and deaths: China

Workers wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) isolation facility in Tsing Yi, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong, China, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

As the city prepares for details of an expected mass testing plan later this month, a senior Chinese health official said Hong Kong must stick to its “dynamic zero” coronavirus strategy, which focuses on reducing infections, severe illnesses, and death.

The news: According to the official Xinhua news agency, Liang Wannian of China’s National Health Commission, who is in Hong Kong to coordinate efforts to combat a rising outbreak, mass testing must be done at the correct moment with all details meticulously coordinated.

  • With COVID transmissions so strong, dynamic zero does not imply zero infections, according to Liang. However, the city should do all possible to limit infections and prevent new transmissions.

What’s going on: Infections in the Asian financial hub have reached new highs, with about 500,000 cases and more than 2,200 deaths, the most of which have occurred in the last two weeks.

  • Authorities have sent mixed indications about whether or not a mandatory mass testing programme will coincide with a city-wide lockdown.
  • Food prices have risen dramatically in the city, and grocery shelves have been emptied every day for the past week as locals prepare for a possible lockdown.
  • After launching a self-reporting website on Monday night where people can register whether they are afflicted with the coronavirus, Hong Kong is anticipated to report tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

Officials said that after registering on the government’s website, authorities will attempt to admit people to isolation facilities if their homes are overcrowded.

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