Testing residents of care homes 'not feasible' - RTHK
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Testing residents of care homes 'not feasible'

2020-08-23 HKT 11:45
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  • Law Chi-kwong believes it's more important to prevent residents of elderly care homes from being infected with Covid-19 than to test them. Photo: RTHK
    Law Chi-kwong believes it's more important to prevent residents of elderly care homes from being infected with Covid-19 than to test them. Photo: RTHK
The welfare chief has defended a government decision not to include elderly-home residents in its universal coronavirus testing scheme.

Writing on his blog on Sunday, Law Chi-kwong said given their health conditions, it would be difficult for them to leave their care homes to get tested.

He also pointed out that with more than 60,000 people living in elderly care homes across the city, arranging tests for them on site or at hospitals would be a massive operation.

Law said the priority is to prevent elderly-home residents from getting infected by outside sources. He stressed the need to prohibit them to leave the homes and ban visits to these facilities, even though these measures have a negative impact on their mental well-being.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung appealed to the people of Hong Kong to take part in the voluntary testing scheme, which is due to start in September.

Writing on his blog, he said as more people get tested, it would allow the authorities to cut down on the 'silent transmission' of Covid-19 in the community faster.

He also said the coming week would be key to the outbreak here in Hong Kong. Cheung said the government will keep a close eye on whether cases will continue to head south, and officials will come up with the appropriate social-distancing measures.