'Doctors could be sued for not doing virus tests' - RTHK
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'Doctors could be sued for not doing virus tests'

2020-06-07 HKT 12:44
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  • Yuen Kwok-yung says the SAR needs to do more coronavirus testing. File photo: RTHK
    Yuen Kwok-yung says the SAR needs to do more coronavirus testing. File photo: RTHK
A leading microbiologist has warned that family doctors risk litigation if they fail to arrange coronavirus tests for patients with symptoms who later become seriously ill with Covid-19.

Professor Yuen Kwok-yung of the University of Hong Kong made the comments on Sunday after it emerged that a Sha Tin woman who is now in a critical condition had visited a doctor three times before being tested for the virus. She eventually tested positive in hospital.

The woman is one of seven patients involved in a cluster of cases at the Lek Yuen Estate.

Yuen told a radio programme that doctors should still arrange tests even if patients showed only mild symptoms.

He again called on the government to substantially increase testing to around 7,500 a day to detect any hidden transmission. He said even a single "super-spreading" incident could ruin the SAR's previous efforts to contain Covid-19.

Hong Kong has largely avoided major community outbreaks of Covid-19, with just 1,105 cases and four deaths recorded. In the majority of cases, the patient contracted the disease overseas.

However concern has intensified in the past week over a cluster of cases involving a building at the Lek Yuen Estate and a warehouse in Kwai Chung where one of the patients worked.