Health Department to Hand Out Self-Test COVID-19 Kits

Health Department to Hand Out Self-Test COVID-19 Kits

Health Secretary Sophia Chan said the government will start to roll out a city-wide self-test scheme for COVID-19 once the Health Department is able to procure enough kits for all residents in Hong Kong.

Speaking to RTHK on Monday morning, Chan said the administration is also creating guidelines and making relevant preparations for those who test positive.

“We are trying to buy the kits as quickly as possible for everyone in Hong Kong. We have to make arrangements and accommodations. When so many people are doing it at the same time, what do we do with the positive results? For the overall arrangements, we have to issue guidelines,” Chan said.

Chan’s comments came after Chief Executive Carrie Lam said every resident will be given one kit to test themselves at home. However, Chan was not able to provide any dates to when the scheme will begin.

“When we manage to procure [the kits], we will begin.” 

Meanwhile, Ricky Chiu, a medical expert at Chinese University, said one kit per person is far from enough to pick up positive tests and curb the outbreak, because individuals may test themselves days apart while still moving about in the city and potentially spreading the virus.

The adjunct associate professor of biomedical sciences said the plan could be treated as a pilot scheme for people to begin regularly testing themselves at home, a norm in the future.

Subscribe to The Beat's newsletter to receive compelling, curated content straight to your inbox! You can also create an account with us for free to start bookmarking articles for later reading.