Chief Executive Carrie Lam visited the School of Public Health campus and the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole during the Lunar New Year holidays to learn more about the University of Hong Kong sewage surveillance project, its role into COVID-19 detection and its major contribution to the Government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic.
Mrs Lam was briefed about the routine process of the testing works, from viral inactivation to viral RNA extraction and the duration of each work. She was impressed that HKU-Pasteur has 2 ultra-centrifuges allowing us to process 24 samples at a time, and underlined the importance of the project and its cross-disciplinarity.
The Chief Executive announced that the Government is in the process of purchasing 6 ultracentrifuges in order to increase the testing capacity with commercial labs.
The Environmental Protection Department and the Drainage Services Department have been collaborating with the cross-disciplinary team of the university in the research of sewage surveillance since last year. Following continued improvement and verification, the technology has been applied in monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the community and individual buildings.