Posted August 18th, 2020
Many ask me why we will not take the test for Covid that the Hong Kong government will make available for free for all citizens (now it seems from August 31 for two weeks).
Some elements to understand.
The government's decision stems from the growing number of citizens who asked to take the test in public hospitals and were forced to pay.
The test will be free for two weeks for all those who request it.
It is therefore a response to a request from a part of the population and not a medical decision.
For this reason it is on a purely voluntary basis.
The government has not yet communicated what type of testing will be carried out.
Regardless of the assurances about the NON-retention of DNA data, there are important implications for respecting privacy that in these parts (well, all over the world to be honest) should not be overlooked.
The reliability of the tests (depending on the type) is questioned by the presence of a high number of false positives.
A mass test of this type is only effective if one is able to "freeze" the status quo.
But here in Hong Kong there is no lockdown and therefore anyone, after taking the test, can move freely and has the possibility of coming into contact with possible infected, invalidating the test just done.
And indeed, no government decision was tied to the test result.
None of us have any symptoms (fingers crossed) and, as also reiterated by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of the WHO (World Health Organization), the transmission of the virus by asymptomatics is currently a "big unknown".
P.S. The photo was taken at the Dry Food Market (in January), but there were no "bats" 😉 so I can rest assured.