A woman wearing a protective face mask walks in the arrivals hall of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) in Hong Kong on Feb 8, 2020. (DALE DE LA REY / AFP)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong government is planning to extend to all entry points the requirement for arrivals who are not showing symptoms of coronavirus infection to provide samples of deep-throat saliva for testing.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said the government will set a time limit for submission of the samples to the health authorities
So far, the procedure applies only to arrivals at the airport. They are given bottles to collect the samples which can either be submitted to a temporary test centers near the airport, or ask their relatives or friends to bring them back to designated clinics during home quarantine.
The other entry points that have remained open are Shenzhen Bay checkpoint and the port of entry at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
At a press conference on Friday, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said the government will set a time limit for submission of the samples to the health authorities.
More than 5,600 bottles have been distributed, and about 2,800 were returned and tested in which 26 were positive, Chan said.
In addition, of the 514 symptomatic patients who submitted samples to the two temporary testing centers near the airports, the AsiaWorld-Expo and North Lantau Hospital, 16 were tested initially positive.
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