Govt urged to let jabbed students test less regularly

The government has been urged to allow vaccinated students to take Covid tests once or twice a week, instead of daily, when schools resume face-to-face classes after the Easter holidays.

The call was made by the head of the Subsidised Primary Schools Council, Vu Im-fan on Monday, who said pupils who are not inoculated should test more frequently.

Speaking on an RTHK programme, Vu said if the government decides that all pupils must be tested every day, then it should at least provide test kits to families that cannot afford them.

Vu also said allowing vaccinated students to test less frequently can also serve as an incentive to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated.

“Our suggestion is to have a more relaxed treatment for students who are vaccinated – and the schools are going to find out who have already been jabbed anyway – so that when parents feel the pressure of daily testing, they might take their children to get vaccinated,” she said.

Vu also said she hopes schools will be allowed to administer quick tests for children who show symptoms.

Also speaking on the same programme, infectious disease expert Ho Pak-leung from the University of Hong Kong said if the rapid tests aren’t conducted regularly enough, it won’t really help prevent outbreaks of the highly transmissible Omicron variant at schools.

He also said he expects Covid figures to fluctuate after the resumption of classes and the relaxation of social distancing measures later this month.