‘Civil servant testing plan might not boost jab rate’

The chairman of the Hong Kong Senior Government Officers Association, Lee Fong-chung, said on Monday that he isn’t sure whether more regular Covid tests for unvaccinated civil servants will help boost the city’s take-up of jabs.

Civil service chief Patrick Nip said on Sunday that civil servants who haven’t had a jab may have to take a test every week instead of every fortnight, with the move aimed at increasing Hong Kong’s vaccination rate.

But Lee told RTHK that the plan may not be that effective, as most government workers have already had jabs.

“The first dose take-up rate among the entire civil service already exceeded 90 percent,” he said.

Lee added that many unjabbed civil servants have medical certificates proving they are unfit to be vaccinated.

But Leung Chau-ting, the head of the Federation of Civil Service Unions, said some staff will get jabbed if the administration requires more frequent testing, because of the cost of the tests.

“You would have to pay HK$200 something every week for the test… that would cost you at least HK$1,000 every month,” he told a Commercial Radio programme.

Leung said he hopes the administration will offer financial help to workers who haven’t got vaccinated because of special conditions but have difficulty in getting a medical certificate which is required to be reimbursed for test costs.