The Health Bureau’s Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou announced during Monday’s press conference that the government has decided that those aged below 18 will now have their samples collected under its NAT scheme only via nasopharyngeal swabs.
This decision was made after a nine-month-old female baby swallowed the three-centimetre-long tip of the swab on Monday morning when she was having her sample collected for a COVID-19 test via an oropharyngeal swab at the NAT programme’s main testing station in the Taipa Ferry Terminal in Pac On.
According to a statement by the government’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre on Monday, the baby was taken to the emergency department of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre for examination and treatment. The statement said that the baby was in good condition. However, the hospital was still arranging for a gastroscopy for the baby to identify the location of the swallowed tip when the statement was issued on Monday afternoon.
Leong also announced that from Thursday, adults can choose to have their sample collected for a COVID-19 test via a nasopharyngeal or an oropharyngeal swab under the government’s NAT scheme.