South China Morning Post

Was a mass Covid-19 test a success for Hong Kong?

November 6, 2020 | Science

Hong Kong was gearing up for a fierce showdown over control of the city’s legislature when Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor controversially postponed the September polls by one year, citing public health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Compounding the controversy, a week later, authorities announced a one-off, free mass testing programme in a bid to cut off silent chains of transmission in the city - one that would require large numbers of residents to queue to give samples, much as they would have done to vote. The move prompted the pro-democracy opposition to accuse the government of double standards, expressing scepticism that the public health crisis was the real reason the vote was postponed.