Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday slammed health experts who criticised the universal coronavirus tests to be held from next week, saying their statements are politically motivated.
Some medical professionals had questioned the effectiveness of these universal tests which will be conducted with the help of mainland experts, saying this will not provide any tangible results to contain the outbreak. A few also raised concerns about the possibility of the infections spreading through this mass exercise.
Speaking ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam said some medical experts were attempting to smear the central government by publicly saying they don’t support the testing scheme. She alleged that what they did is politically motivated.
“I can’t think of any other reason,” she said.
“I would make a strong plea that well-known people, especially in the relevant professional areas, should really express their view in a more responsible way. Since this is about public health, let's focus on public health,” she said.
Lam also said the infection risks associated with city-wide coronavirus tests are lower than that of holding the Legco election.
The government has postponed the Legco polls originally scheduled for September 6 in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Lam said it’s inappropriate and unreasonable to compare the two.
“I think there are a lot of differences between the two arrangements,” she said.
“As far as universal communal testing is concerned, we are not cramming it into a single day. We have allowed ourselves up to two weeks to invite members of the community to come forward for the testing.“
“Secondly, we are going to do an online booking system. So preferably we won’t be seeing crowds or long queues in front of the swabbing stations to have the test done,” the CE said.
Lam also said that government will announce new social distancing measures as the existing ones are set to expire by midnight.