Hong Kong will hold its first large-scale lockdown for universal mass testing in the second half of the month, according to sources, but experts have called for the exercise to be deferred until the fifth wave of coronavirus infections has peaked.
Doing mass testing later would be more effective at firmly shutting down transmissions, they agreed, rather than in the middle of the wave. Doing it now would put an unmanageable burden on the system even with more resources for isolation facilities being planned and help being dispatched from mainland China.
Worse, it could also trigger more infections if people were kept in confined spaces or made to queue for long periods in crowded situations.
They gave the advice as the city’s Covid-19 crisis showed no signs of abating on Tuesday, with more than 32,500 new infections confirmed, pushing the overall tally of cases to 238,377. The death toll rose to 1,023 after another 172 patients, aged between 47 and 102, succumbed.
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