A Hong Kong health care workers union on Sunday called for members to boycott the city government’s coronavirus testing plan, calling it a misuse of resources.
A 60-person Chinese team is set to conduct tests in the city, the first aid sent directly from Beijing during the pandemic. However, the aid comes in the wake of a new national security law that critics say has eroded the city’s autonomy from China after it was guaranteed in the 1997 British handover.
The Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, a coalition of health care workers and activists that formed during the 2019 uprising in the city, said the universal testing plan would be an inefficient use of resources, according to Reuters. The 20,000-member group is instead calling for targeted testing.
The union has also balked at the testing plan due to Beijing’s involvement.
“It is clear to see that the government has one and only one goal … to use the pandemic to achieve their own political aims,” its leader Winnie Yu said at a joint news conference. “They shall do whatever they can to please the central government of China, even if it means placing politics above all things else.”
Joshua Wong, a member of the group and central figure in the 2019 protests, said a full closure of the border was necessary first. A testing regimen while the borders remain open, he said, was “like having a pregnancy test without having birth control.”
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said skeptics are attempting to “smear the central government” of the city.
Hong Kong saw a resurgence of the virus in recent weeks, with new daily cases averaging in the triple digits. In recent days, however, new daily cases have plunged, with recent figures hovering in the single-digit and low double-digit range, Reuters reported.