There is no clear timetable for compulsory nationwide testing

There is no clear timetable for compulsory nationwide testing at the first high-level official’s press conference on the epidemic. Hong Kong’s fifth wave of the new coronavirus continues to be severe, with more than 58,000 positive cases recorded on Wednesday, with a cumulative total of more than 500,000 confirmed cases.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam led a senior official to hold a press conference on the epidemic for the first time. She described Hong Kong as “fighting the battle against the epidemic” and believed that the public wanted to know how the “war situation” was. As the “anti-epidemic coach”, she was responsible for the rapid dissemination of information.

There is no clear timetable for compulsory nationwide testing

However, when Carrie Lam was asked whether compulsory nationwide testing would be implemented in March, she said there was no clear timetable, stressing that universal testing is not a priority, nor will it be forced, and it is still under planning at this stage.

Some scholars have criticized that the senior officials’ press conference on the epidemic is still inaccurate in the preface and the message is confusing, which does not help to reduce the panic of the public.

The fifth wave of the new coronavirus outbreak of the Omicron variant virus in Hong Kong is more than two months old, and the number of confirmed cases remains high. On Wednesday (March 9), 58,757 positive cases were recorded, and 195 more patients died in public hospitals. Almost 41 to 105 years old. As of Tuesday (March 8), the fifth wave of the epidemic has accumulated more than 500,000 confirmed cases and a total of 2,656 deaths.

The Chief Executive leads senior officials to meet the media every day to answer the epidemic prevention policy

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced at the end of February that the first nationwide mandatory virus testing in the more than two years since the epidemic lasted for more than two years will be implemented in March. Citizens who do not accept the test will be prosecuted and fined. He did not say whether he would cooperate with the “Foot Ban Order”. The Chief Executive and officials disagreed, causing the public to panic buying for days. Food, medicine, disinfection and daily necessities in supermarkets and pharmacies have become the main targets of the rush.

In such a social atmosphere, Carrie Lam wore a mask and led a senior official to hold a press conference on the epidemic for the first time on Wednesday. She described Hong Kong as “fighting the battle against the epidemic” and believed that the public wanted to know how the “war situation” was. As the “anti-epidemic coach”, To be responsible for the rapid dissemination of information, it was decided that every day at 11:00 in the morning, in addition to the executive meeting on Tuesday, a press conference by senior officials on the epidemic will be held until the epidemic is under control and citizens can return to normal life.

Lin Zhengyue said: I hope to be able to answer your questions more directly in the future, but I hope this (press conference) will not take long. This kind of high-level, daily press conference lasts until we all win the battle against the epidemic together, so the sooner we win, the sooner we can cancel this press conference. I believe that you don’t want to see me often, and if you don’t see me earlier, that means Hong Kong has returned to normal life.

Carrie Lam also said that the senior officials’ press conference on the epidemic can clarify rumors and give the media an opportunity to ask questions about anti-epidemic measures. She repeatedly quoted Liang Wannian, the head of the China-aided prevention and control expert group for Hong Kong, as saying that Hong Kong’s epidemic prevention and control should be done Reduce deaths and severe cases, and focus resources on treating patients to avoid deterioration.

There is no timetable for national testing, but it is still in planning and preparation

A reporter asked whether the compulsory testing of the whole people should be done or not? If and when? Do we wait until the epidemic slows down, as experts recommend? Does it cooperate with a certain level of restraint order? In order to avoid confusion in the distribution of information, causing the public to panic and panic buying.

Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor spent a long time responding to the issue of compulsory nationwide inspections, but she did not give a clear response to whether it would be implemented in March, nor did she say there was a clear timetable. She just reiterated that there must be careful planning and preparations for compulsory national inspections, but not Prioritize it, and did not explain the details of cooperating with the “foot restraint order”.

Carrie Lam also said that the Hong Kong government will not do it because it wants to do a nationwide forced inspection, or reluctantly do it because the chief executive said it would do it. She emphasized that the timing of the implementation of the national forced inspection is not the decision of the chief executive alone, and it is necessary to listen to experts. Opinion. However, she did not specify whether it was the opinion of the expert group from mainland China or local experts in Hong Kong, and she also appealed to the public not to panic because of the forced inspection of the whole people.

Lin Zhengyue said: Today, March 9, I can’t say that there will be no (mandatory compulsory inspection), but when it will be done, with the detailed situation and the time, it will be announced as soon as possible to let the public participate actively. But today there are no details, no timetable. I have spent a lot of time just now saying that everyone does not need to worry that compulsory testing will bring great trouble to life.

No response to public testing whether it affects the chief executive election

In addition, a reporter asked if there is no clear implementation time for the compulsory national inspection, will it affect the postponement of the chief executive election to be held on May 8?

Carrie Lam reiterated that relevant supporting facilities must be fully prepared, for example, sufficient isolation facilities can be implemented to implement compulsory nationwide inspections, but she did not respond to whether the compulsory nationwide inspections would affect the election of the chief executive. She said that she believed that Beijing would have important instructions and opinions. .

A reporter asked that the current daily number of confirmed cases in Hong Kong exceeds tens of thousands. The team of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong has estimated that 1.84 million people in Hong Kong may have been infected. coexist, and then reset”?

Lin Zhengyue responded by saying that at this stage, there is no point in arguing about coexistence or zero. She stressed that the Hong Kong government will not deal with the epidemic with a “flattening” attitude. She said, “Because every human life is precious, we are also following the requirements of President Xi (Jin Ping) to ensure the safety and health of Hong Kong citizens.”

Emily Lau pointed out that the Chief Executive’s press conference did not address public concerns

Emily Lau, the former chairman of the Democratic Party, said in an interview with Voice of America that Carrie Lam actually had no intention of implementing compulsory nationwide inspections, but because of pressure from many legislators and political parties, Lam finally announced the implementation of mandatory national inspections, which immediately caused panic among the public. Emily Lau believes that Lin The press conference hosted by Zheng Yue’e failed to relieve the public’s doubts.

Emily Liu said: “When the national mandatory inspection was announced, many citizens were very worried, because not only did you go for the test, but you also said that you might have to stay at home, but also said that you were not allowed to leave the house, etc., so everyone went to buy things. It’s a link. Carrie Lam is now saying she won’t do it for the time being, but it’s not saying she won’t do it, so people will continue to be very worried.”

Emily Lau said that when Carrie Lam announced the implementation of compulsory nationwide inspections, she also announced that all primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong would have their summer vacations in March and April in advance to free up campus facilities for testing stations for mandatory national inspections, etc. However, there is no specific mandatory national inspections now. The implementation time also has a great impact on the students.

Emily Liu said: But now he said that there will be no compulsory national inspection for the time being. Earlier, he said that classes will be resumed around the end of April, and there will be exams. Now, there may be a mandatory national inspection in April. Those principals, teachers and parents It’s really pitiful, what’s going on here? So if a lot of things are not determined, it is very painful.

Zhong Jianhua criticized that the foreword was incorrect and the message was confusing

Zhong Jianhua, deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute, was criticized by VOA in an interview. The press conference of senior officials hosted by Carrie Lam was still inaccurate in the preface and the message was confusing. It was only a slight adjustment to the “politically correct” style of the epidemic prevention policy. Not helpful.

Zhong Jianhua said: “I didn’t make up my mind. I once said that the whole people would be forced to prosecute, but now it seems to have changed, so the government’s ability to lead society has been questioned by the public in this matter. Carrie Lam is now coming out as a senior official epidemic reporter.

The way of meeting is that she, as the top leader, brings two senior officials and representatives of the HA, but the problem is that I don’t particularly think that she speaks out. For the public, her credibility will be higher than that of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Center for Health Protection. Hello, Director Dr. Zhang Zhujun, the image of the CEO of the Hospital Authority, Gao Basheng, is not very good.

So now there are two situations. After she may be taught by the Beijing Central Committee, she herself knows that she can’t just be as ‘political as before’ Correct’, adjust those statements now. After you adjust the following departments, you will follow. In the past, what the central government in Beijing and China did, the Hong Kong government did what.”

Zhong Jianhua said that the forced inspection of the whole people has no medical effect. At this stage, manpower and resources should not be wasted to do these ineffective tasks during the peak period of the epidemic. In fact, there are not enough isolation facilities to isolate hundreds of thousands of people. patient.

Zhong Jianhua said that, according to friends of civil servants he knew, the government has recently summoned civil servants to assist the work of compulsory national inspections starting from March 26, but today Carrie Lam suddenly changed her tone, reflecting that there are still many differences within the government on the implementation of compulsory national inspections. opinion, may have to wait until the time is ripe to implement it.

Sunbal Razzaq

Sunbal Razzaq is the founder & CEO of Sunshine Tips.

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