Domestic workers in Hong Kong can register for a free coronavirus test from Thursday, the government announced following a cluster of cases in Tai Po.

The scheme was rolled out after an outbreak in a domestic workers’ hostel in Fung Nin Building where 12 infections have been reported. The free tests begin on Friday and continue till the end of January. Advanced booking can be made online through the community testing centre booking system.

A kid playing at a public playground where is fenced with tapes as precautionary measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus. The government’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has closed some public recreational and sporting facilities to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Photo: May James/HKFP.

Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung also announced that HK$6.4 billion would be injected into the anti-epidemic fund for severely hit sectors.

Cheung said this fourth round of relief fund was targeted at sectors that were impacted by the tightened social-distancing rules, such as restaurants, gym rooms and kindergartens.

He added that HK$5.5 billion of the funds would be used to finance 19 measures aimed at businesses and individuals affected by the government’s epidemic prevention policies. The rest would be used as emergency funds.

A special meeting will be held on Monday in the Legislative Council’s Financial Committee to consider the plan – a vote could be expected on the same day, said Cheung.

Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung announcing the fourth round of anti-epidemic fund. Photo: RTHK, via video screenshot.

The city recorded 96 infections on Thursday, with 90 locally transmitted cases – 26 of which with unknown sources.

A 80-year-old patient from the dance club cluster passed away on the same day, the city has recorded 124 deaths in total.

Evacuations and compulsory testing

Compulsory testing orders were issued to residents and visitors of several premises following reports of clusters. Some residents in two more buildings were evacuated – Ming Yan Lau in Shatin and Ming Lai House in Ngau Chi Wan.

Any person who stayed for more than two hours in Lung San House in Wong Tai Sin, or Ming Yan Lau was ordered to undergo testing by next Monday. The two premises recorded four and six cases so far respectively.

Visitors of Glow Salon and Spa in Central were also asked to complete a coronavirus test as the site recorded five cases.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.