Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-19 response expert panel under the National Health Commission, speaks to the media on his arrival in Hong Kong on Feb 28, 2022. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
The priorities of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's epidemic control efforts should focus on reducing the number of infected, severely ill patients and fatalities, as well as protecting its senior population, Liang Wannian, head of the National Health Commission's COVID-19 leading task force, said during a news briefing on Tuesday.
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Liang said he is glad to see the outbreak in Hong Kong is subsiding, but the situation is still tense as the city continues to report a high number of confirmed cases daily. As a result, focusing the city's efforts and resources to reduce fatalities and protect its citizens should be the top priority, he added.
When asked about whether HK should conduct a round of mass COVID-19 testing, Liang Wannian said doing so is currently unnecessary as the city should focus its staff and resources on other objectives
When asked about whether HK should conduct a round of mass COVID-19 testing, Liang said doing so is currently unnecessary as the city should focus its staff and resources on other objectives.
The purpose of mass testing is to identify possible infected cases and contact tracing. This gives health workers a swift and comprehensive reading of the situation to help them stop the outbreak, he said.
Such testing should ideally be done as soon as an outbreak occurs. Under the dynamic zero-COVID policy, mass testing should also be conducted in certain areas at the tail end of an outbreak to ensure there are no cases left unaccounted for, Liang said.
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"No mass-testing doesn't mean Hong Kong is 'lying flat' or loosening its epidemic control measures," he said. "The city is tackling the outbreak in accordance with its strategic planning and has achieved positive results."
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