Consolidation of test services at AsiaWorld-Expo

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) has established test centres since March 20 at AsiaWorld-Expo and North Lantau Hospital (NLTH) to conduct tests for travellers entering Hong Kong with symptoms of upper respiratory symptoms for early identification of COVID-19 cases. Starting from 8pm today (April 5), the test services will be consolidated at AsiaWorld-Expo.
     The HA spokesperson said, "With more public hospitals setting up triage and test centres in the Accident and Emergency Departments, including NLTH, the HA decided to consolidate the services of the two test centres upon reviewing the service model and the number of referrals."
     In light of the declining number of travellers entering Hong Kong, the test centre also handles suspected cases referred by the Centre for Health Protection, such as travellers under home quarantine or close contacts of confirmed cases.
     People awaiting test results will need to stay at the test centre. The transportation of specimens and laboratory tests will usually take less than 12 hours to complete.
     "The test centre plays a significant triage function by largely reducing the admission of suspected cases for tests and alleviating pressure for first-tier isolation beds. As of yesterday (April 4), among the nearly 1 100 tested specimens collected by the two test centres, infection was confirmed in 70 of them. With the provision of immediate screening and test results, hospital admissions for more than 1 000 people were saved. Public hospitals will then have a larger capacity to admit confirmed cases with first-tier isolation beds," the spokesperson added.

Ends/Sunday, April 5, 2020
Issued at HKT 19:38