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Hong Kong's voluntary COVID test plan faces risk of low turnout

Citizens worry how DNA data will be handled in Beijing-backed scheme

A medical worker in a protective suit collects a swab from a man in Hong Kong to test for COVID-19.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- With Hong Kong set to embark on a groundbreaking citywide coronavirus test to eradicate COVID-19 transmission in the city, medical experts say turnout will be key to the effectiveness of the scheme, which has raised concerns over the handling of citizens' DNA data.

The seven-day testing plan, scheduled to start on Tuesday, will allow the city of 7.5 million residents to conduct up to half a million coronavirus tests a day. Over a hundred testing centers will temporarily be set up across the territory, with the help of hundreds of medical and lab professionals from mainland China.

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