The Government said, as at this morning, the terminal operators of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals have returned over 90% or more than 7,100 of the distributed bottles with specimens to the Department of Health for COVID-19 testing.


The Government made the statement in response to media enquiries about COVID-19 tests for target groups.


It said the continued and smooth operation of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals is of paramount importance to maintaining Hong Kong’s logistics and cargo supplies.


The Transport & Housing Bureau has been closely communicating with the terminal operators to ensure that the infection area is kept under control and the terminal operation is not disrupted as far as possible.


The bureau and the department held a meeting with the terminal operators last week and urged them to adopt suitable measures to reduce the risks of virus infection in the terminals.


The operators immediately implemented a number of improvement measures, including installing additional modular units as resting areas, limiting the number of beds in each area and putting up partitions for each bed to provide adequate space for social distancing among workers.


Meanwhile, the bureau will provide regular virus tests for frontline employees with higher risk, including those who need to work onboard cargo vessels, to ensure they are fit for work to maintain the smooth operation of the terminals and stable supply of goods.


The bureau and the Marine Department are devising the detailed arrangement with the terminal operators and will launch the test shortly.


In addition, the Social Welfare Department commissioned a testing laboratory to conduct the first round of targetted testing of the staff of residential care homes for the elderly or people with disabilities and nursing homes in mid-July.


The Government explained that the goal is to achieve early identification of infected staff members for speedy treatment and quarantine of close contacts.


The Social Welfare Department is now conducting the second round of such targetted testing.


In the first round, one confirmed COVID-19 case was found, while three cases involving staff members of Hong Chi Lei Muk Shue Hostel were found positive in the second round.


The arrangement helped to reduce the risk of spreading of the virus further by early identification, quarantine and treatment.