Hongkong Post today (August 18) announced that a total of around 3 800 frontline staff responsible for mail delivery, outdoor duties and counter service will be arranged to undergo COVID-19 testing in batches on August 20 and 21. The Chief Executive announced on August 7 that the Targeted Group Testing Scheme would be extended to cover frontline employees of government departments with frequent contact with members of the public, including frontline staff of Hongkong Post.
Hongkong Post has hired a qualified testing agency for the provision of testing through established procurement procedures. The service contract has been awarded to Hong Kong Molecular Pathology Diagnostic Centre Limited and it will be responsible for providing Hongkong Post with a one-stop testing service. Nasopharyngeal swabs will be used for specimen-taking in this exercise and the testing agency will deploy manpower to collect specimens from staff. The specimens will then be delivered to the testing agency's laboratory for testing and the agency will notify Hongkong Post of the test results. Hongkong Post estimates that, for each of its approximately 3 800 frontline staff, testing will be completed within two days of taking a specimen.
Hongkong Post reassured that the testing agency will only have access to the serial numbers of specimens and will not acquire or retain any personal information of staff. Test results will be made known to staff through Hongkong Post. The testing agency will inform Hongkong Post of the serial number(s) for positive results, and Hongkong Post will then forward the information of the staff concerned to the Centre for Health Protection for follow-up action.
Proper infection control measures will be implemented at the testing sites. Staff undergoing testing are required to have their body temperature checked and have their hands sanitised with alcohol-based handrub before entering the sites. Partitions will be installed at the whole area designated for specimen collection and queuing instructions will be marked on the floor as a reminder to maintain social distancing.