Expert urges regular tests for care home residents - RTHK
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Expert urges regular tests for care home residents

2020-09-19 HKT 16:30
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  • Infectious disease expert David Hui says residents in care homes should be tested for Covid-19 regularly. File photo: RTHK
    Infectious disease expert David Hui says residents in care homes should be tested for Covid-19 regularly. File photo: RTHK
David Hui speaks to RTHK's Joanne Wong
A government adviser on infectious diseases says health officials should seriously consider regularly testing residents of care homes as well as staff there for Covid-19.

David Hui, an infectious disease expert from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said on Saturday that elderly people in care homes are usually chronic patients with a wide range of conditions, so it’s best to test them, say, once a month, to make sure there are no silent carriers among them.

His comments came after the administration announced that it would offer regular tests to carers as well as other "high risk" professions such as taxi drivers and wet market staff.

Meanwhile, the expert said social distancing rules for bars should not be relaxed further, despite bar operators complaining business will be hurt even if they can now open until midnight.

Hui said he noted media reports had shown that people are not even able to comply with the cap of two people per table for bars, and there are photos showing four or five people at tables, chatting away without wearing masks.

He noted a previous cluster involving 103 patients was related to bars, which showed these venues carry quite a high risk of infections.

“If they don’t follow the instructions, I don’t think we should loosen the restrictions further at this stage,” he told RTHK’s Joanne Wong.

Hui also said beaches should remain closed even though swimming pools are now reopened.

“In the open area in the beaches, you cannot supervise and restrict the number of people so easily in the outdoor setting,” he said.