Long queues form for Covid tests in Tuen Mun

Long queues formed outside some Covid testing centres in Tuen Mun on Wednesday morning, after health officials warned of silent transmission of the virus in the area.

Some people outside the Siu Lun Community Hall told RTHK they arrived around an hour before the centre opened at 8am, but still had to wait for hours before getting tested.

“I’ve waited for almost three hours. It’s cold, I can’t go to the toilet and there’s no place to sit down. I haven’t eaten anything yet. I have to go home to cook and look after my grandchild, so it’s a bit late now,” said an elderly lady surnamed Yip.

She said she had received two doses of vaccine but was still worried as she had been to the same places as recent Covid patients.

Another woman surnamed Mak said she was also concerned about possible silent transmission in Tuen Mun, but felt it was excessive that those who went to the H.A.N.D.S shopping mall have to take six Covid tests.

“People should get tested but do we really need to do it six times? The worst part is that you can’t book a test online [because bookings are full], if elderly people like me have to queue like this every time, we’re doomed.”

The government said apart from the testing centre at Siu Lun Community Hall, nine other mobile testing stations will provide free tests for residents and workers in the area.

They are located in Tsing Tin Playground, Tai Hing Community Hall, San Wo Lane Playground, Butterfly Bay Community Centre, Lung Yat Community Hall, Yau Oi Sports Centre, Yau Oi Estate Football Field, On Ting/Yau Oi Community Centre and Kin Sang Community Hall.

A contractor who operates six of the testing stations said they had three times the usual number of staff on Wednesday but were still nearing full capacity.

Ricky Chiu, from Phase Scientific, said the authorities should consider setting up more testing facilities if long queues persisted, adding that Tuen Mun residents could also travel to other districts for tests.