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Hong Kong testing more airport, care home staff

Social Issues

AP  |  Bangkok 

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam says the territory is ramping up testing, especially for workers at the busy international airport and caregivers at homes for the elderly and disabled.

Lam said Tuesday that tests would be increased from 4,500 to 7,000 daily with both the government health department and university laboratories taking part.

Hong Kong has gone several days without new local infections, but a recent family cluster has increased concerns about those who show no symptoms passing the virus on to others, something the authorities hope can be remedied by increased testing.

Speaking to reporters at a routine morning briefing, Lam said a decision would soon be made on whether to extend social distancing rules set to expire on Thursday.

If they are maintained for another two weeks, they would be in effect during the annual commemoration of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on prod-democracy protests in Beijing that is routinely marked with a rally and march in Hong Kong.

A Mother's Day march by the opposition camp was banned last week with critics saying the government was seeking to use social distancing measures to squelch political gatherings and free speech.

There is no political consideration at all related to certain anniversaries or political gatherings. Our only only consideration is related to public safety and public health, Lam said.

A densely populated city of more than 7 million people just across the border from mainland China, Hong Kong has recorded just 1,055 COVID-19 cases and four deaths.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 19 2020. 12:22 IST