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Government follows up on positive results of sewage surveillance and appeals to residents to undergo virus testing
     The Government announced today (February 15) that in order to fight the coronavirus epidemic, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and the Drainage Services Department in collaboration with the cross-disciplinary team of the University of Hong Kong had strengthened the sampling of sewage for virus testing in all districts, and had detected positive results in many areas, indicating that there may be hidden cases in the premises within these areas.
Rapid test
     As regards positive sewage testing results in Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long, Kwun Tong, Sham Shui Po and Sha Tin Districts, the Home Affairs Department (including Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long and Kwun Tong District Offices) will distribute COVID-19 rapid test kits to residents and all cleansing workers and property management staff working in the following areas (see Annex) starting from tomorrow (February 16) for them to take the test on their own, in order to help identifying infected persons –
  • Sewage Testing Area Tsuen Wan Site TW-059 - Muk Min Ha Tsuen
  • Sewage Testing Area Yuen Long Site 6A-6 - Harmonic Villa, Bonanza Villa, Long Shin Estate, Ming Sum Residential Care Home for the Elderly, Ming Sum Home For the Aged, Pok Oi Hospital Tin Ka Ping Centre and Au Tau Youth Centre
  • Sewage Testing Area Kwun Tong Site 2-8 (Part) - Sau Hong House and Sau Lok House of Sau Mau Ping Estate

     In addition, the Home Affairs Department (including Sham Shui Po and Sha Tin District Offices) will distribute COVID-19 rapid test kits to all cleansing workers and property management staff working in the following area (see Annex) starting from tomorrow for them to take the test on their own, in order to help identifying infected persons. The Government appeals to residents and those working in these areas who have been exposed to infection risks to undergo testing on a voluntary basis to achieve "early identification, early isolation and early treatment".
  • Sewage Testing Area Sham Shui Po Site 3-2 (Part) – Un Chau Estate
  • Sewage Testing Area Sha Tin Site 2A (Part) – Lee On Estate

     Members of the public may refer to (www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzFAUzTtmKk) for enquiries relating to the use of the rapid test kits.
     When using a rapid test kit, please pay attention to and follow the instructions from the manufacturer to perform the test and read the result properly. It is advisable to record the displayed result by taking a photo immediately after reading. Users should wash their hands before and after performing the tests, and avoid placing non-essential items within the specimen collection area. If the household environment is contaminated during the specimen collecting process, disinfection should be conducted with 1 in 49 diluted bleach solution or 70 per cent alcohol.
     Since rapid antigen testing can only serve as a reference, it cannot replace the nucleic acid testing that is at present the gold standard for diagnosis of COVID-19. When positive result is obtained in a rapid test, one should further undergo nucleic acid testing for confirmation. For the sake of prudence, they should take personal protective measures, stay home and avoid going out as far as practicable. They should invite relatives or friends to obtain and deliver deep throat saliva specimen collection packs through existing channels. If the result is still positive, the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority will treat the case as tested positive/preliminarily positive under the mechanism. Should these persons begin to develop symptoms before results are available, they may consult their family doctors for advice according to their needs. When severe symptoms (e.g. prolonged fever at 38 degrees Celsius or above, or signs such as shortness of breath, palpitations and chest pain) are developed, members of the public are urged to call the 999 hotline for arranging ambulance transfer to hospital as early as possible.
Ends/Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Issued at HKT 23:15
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