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Hong Kong starts mass testing for coronavirus: Live news | News



Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

  • Hong Kong has started mass testing for coronavirus in a move that has prompted some concern among pro-democracy groups in the Chinese territory who worry about privacy.
  • A World Health Organization survey of 105 countries has found 90 percent experienced disruption to health services because of coronavirus, with low- and middle-income countries most affected. 
  • More than 25.3 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University and more than 849,000 people have died. Some 16.7 million people have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, September 1

00:15 GMT – Hong Kong begins mass testing programme 

Hong Kong begins mass testing for coronavirus this morning, with the assistance of 60 experts from China.

This is the first time Chinese health officials have provided direct help to Hong Kong in the pandemic, and the move has fuelled concerns about privacy among members of the pro-democracy movement following China’s imposition of national security legislation at the end of June. Activists have urged the territory’s 7.5 million people to boycott the initiative.

Still, the government said that, as of 6pm (10:00 GMT) on Monday just over 500,000 had registered for the programme via its online booking system, and 97 of the 141 community testing centres were fully booked for September 1.

The programme aims to “identify asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, and to cut the transmission chain on the community,” the government said in a statement. 

23:30 GMT –  Coronavirus disrupts healthcare in 90 percent of countries

A World Health Organization survey of 105 countries shows that 90 percent have experienced disruption to their health services as a result of the coronavirus, with low- and middle-income countries the most affected.

Up to 70 percent of service interruptions have been for essential services including routine immunisation, diagnosis and treatment for non-communicable diseases, family planning and contraception, treatment for mental health disorders and cancer diagnosis and treatment, the United Nations health agency said.


Read all the updates from yesterday (August 31) here.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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