With Chinese help, Hong Kong offers citizens free universal Covid testing.

On Friday, Hong Kong’s leader said China will be helping authorities give residents free coronavirus tests as infections continue to grow in a finance hub where Beijing’s deep mistrust has become ingrained. Initially a poster child for the fight against coronavirus, Hong Kong saw a third wave brought in by some company and logistical arrivals exempted from the mandatory rules of quarantine.

Since the beginning of July, more than 2,500 new infections have been reported — almost 70% of the total since the virus first reached the city in late January, with deaths rising to 46. Opposition leaders in Hong Kong have expressed concerns that virus testing by officials on the mainland could help Beijing extract 7.5 million inhabitants of Hong Kong ‘s DNA. The Government of Hong Kong has dismissed such proposals as baseless rumors.

Lam said test laboratories would not be given any personal details during Friday’s announcement and would not be able to collect DNA samples. Another team was set up to assist in the construction of a lucky Hong Kong hospital similar to those built when the virus first appeared in central Wuhan , China. Officials have recently opened a temporary 500-bed facility in an exhibition center near the airport to treat non-serious infections, and plan to increase their capacity by adding 1,400 beds.