The Government today said the Universal Community Testing Programme (UCTP) is one of the important measures in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic and should not be compared with the 2020 Legislative Council General Election.

 

The Government made the statement in response to media reports stating that after attending a radio programme, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip did not respond to a question on why the Government launched the UCTP but deferred the LegCo election.

 

Noting that no arrangements had been made for Mr Nip to meet the media after the radio programme, the Civil Service Bureau explained that he had recently responded to the question on various occasions, including yesterday’s press conference on the UCTP in which he clearly stated that the programme and the election cannot be compared.

 

At the press conference, Mr Nip said the Chief Executive had earlier explained in detail that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government deferred the LegCo election by one year to protect public safety and public health under the epidemic and to ensure the election is conducted openly and fairly.

 

The bureau emphasised that the UCTP will be conducted between seven and 14 days, which is different from the election that is completed in one day, adding that the programme adopts an online booking arrangement to effectively avoid the gathering of crowds or queues outside the community testing centres.

 

It also appealed to the public to participate in the programme, stressing that the goal of the UCTP is to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the community so as to cut the transmission chain.