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Testing attacks by political zealots in Hong Kong make a mockery of morality and humanity: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2020-07-21 20:13
Pedestrians cross a road in Hong Kong, July 16, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Hong Kong reported 61 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, including 58 that were locally transmitted, adding to the wave of new infections in the special administrative region over the past two weeks.

With the number of infections over the past fortnight almost one-third of the total number of infections in the SAR since the outbreak began and the source, or sources, of the infections as yet unknown, the Hong Kong government is testing targeted groups such as staff in care homes for the elderly and disabled, nursing homes, taxi drivers, property management employees and restaurant waiters in a bid to identify the transmission chains.

As shown by Beijing's success in controlling its recent outbreak, such testing has proved to be an effective strategy to cut the transmission chains by helping trace those infected and identify asymptomatic patients,

But Hong Kong's inadequate testing capacity, at 7,000 maximum tests per day versus Beijing's 300,000, has contributed to the difficulty of containing the new wave of infections in the city, experts say.

Which is why the SAR government has invited three laboratories — Hong Kong-based Prenetics, China Inspection Company in the Macao SAR and Shenzhen-headquartered BGI — to help do the testing.

A man sketches in front of the promenade in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, July 16, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Yet this practical move to boost testing capacity and so protect people's health has been demonized by the opposition camp as a "plot" to collect the personal information of Hong Kong residents for the Chinese mainland authorities. More jaw-dropping still is the fact that the political fanatics from the opposition camp have claimed that hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents' genetic information would be leaked to the mainland authorities through those mainland medical testing institutions.

Such unfounded scaremongering is aimed at driving a wedge between Hong Kong residents and their mainland compatriots. The political zealots have also spread the rumor recently that the latest flare-up in infections was likely caused by quarantine exempted travelers from the mainland. The fact is, there have not been any confirmed infections among exempted people arriving from the mainland, Macao or Taiwan, as the SAR government confirmed in a statement on Monday.

The latest maneuvers to politicize the epidemic and stoke up anti-mainland sentiment among local residents are part of the opposition camp's bigger strategy for the upcoming Legislative Council election in September. The demonization of the SAR government's efforts to contain the epidemic by tapping mainland assistance is intended to provoke fear and anger among Hong Kong residents.

By deliberately undermining a proven way to contain the virus and thus saving lives they have taken their political ploys far beyond the pale. That they are gambling with people's lives in this way beggars belief.

Their breaking of the bounds of morality shows the exte

nt to which their political fervor has consumed all reason. Since their degeneracy clearly has no limits, it remains to be seen what other dangerous follies they will indulge in.

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