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DH follows up on suspected abnormality in test results by testing service provider at Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port
     The Department of Health (DH) yesterday (June 21) noticed suspected abnormality in COVID-19 nucleic acid test results for outbound travellers at Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port. The DH is extremely concerned about the incident and has instructed the service provider, Sunrise Diagnostic Centre, to investigate and follow up on the incident immediately and submit a full investigation report as soon as possible.

     According to the existing special COVID-19 testing arrangement for outbound travellers by land, for persons travelling to the Mainland or Macao by land (i.e. Shenzhen Bay Port or the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port), in addition to holding a negative result proof of a self-paid nucleic acid test as per the prevailing requirements of relevant authorities, they have to undergo a free additional rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nucleic acid test at the control points prior to their departure from Hong Kong. Only those who receive a negative result can continue with their journeys. Those who receive a positive or indeterminate result rather than a negative result will not be allowed to continue with their journeys.

     The testing service provider reported yesterday that 136 outbound travellers were tested positive or indeterminate at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port and they were not allowed to depart from Hong Kong according to the prevailing arrangement. The DH personnel noticed that the number of cases tested positive or indeterminate far exceeded that of previous days, and thus approached the service provider and requested the latter to follow up on the incident seriously. The service provider had subsequently sent the 136 samples which were not tested negative to its central laboratory for confirmatory tests. Preliminary test results today (June 22) revealed that most of the samples tested negative, whereas three of the samples tested positive and nine were indeterminate.

     Upon initial investigations, the service provider suspected that there may be environmental contamination in the laboratory set up at the concerned port, causing the abnormality in test results. The DH has instructed the service provider to thoroughly disinfect the laboratory and relevant equipment immediately so as to resume the normal operation of the laboratory today. The service provider was also instructed to conduct a thorough investigation and follow-up actions and submit a full investigation report to the DH as soon as practicable this week.
Ends/Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:20
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