The Universal Community Testing Programme will be extended for four days to September 11.

 

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip made the announcement at a media session this morning.

 

Mr Nip said 19 centres among the 141 community testing centres will close after September 7, adding the public can make appointments from September 5 to take the virus test at the remaining 122 centres between September 8 and 11.

 

He said the programme’s purpose is to provide a one-off, free COVID-19 test, adding repeated testing is not recommended.

 

“We do not encourage, and actually, there is no need for one who has been tested to do it again. But our system would not preclude people from registering again for two reasons.

 

“Firstly, for those who make a booking but subsequently want to reschedule it, then we will allow them to cancel the booking and then book it again.

 

“Secondly, there may be members of the public who after tested have high-risk exposure to places or people, and he or she may feel uncomfortable and want to be tested again.”

 

Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan urged citizens to take the test.

 

“This is very important for us to have this whole picture of whether there are more silent carriers in the community and to cut the COVID-19 transmission chain so that the spread could be stopped.

 

“This is very important for the control and prevention of the entire epidemic, in terms of coming up with measures, and also important for us to prepare for the next wave in the winter.”

 

As of 11:45am, about 922,000 people have registered to take part in the programme.

 

About 521,000 people have gone to testing centres across the city to have their specimens taken as of 11am.