Coronavirus transmission chains in Hong Kong could be cut by more than 90 per cent if citywide testing was completed in three to seven days, the head of a major laboratory operator has said. Sunrise Diagnostic Centre chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk on Sunday said citywide Covid-19 testing should be ideally completed in three to seven days, with every resident taking two or three tests within that period. “That would cut off 90 to 95 per cent of transmission chains,” Wu, a former Hospital Authority chief, told a television programme. But he added that several thousand personnel from mainland China would need to be brought in to help implement the Covid-19 screening measure. “What is urgently needed is more testing personnel to ramp up the testing capacity and get out results as soon as possible,” he said. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor acknowledged on Thursday the government was considering universal Covid-19 screening to combat the explosive fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Hong Kong on Sunday logged more than 6,000 new infections. Hong Kong health minister says social-distancing measures could get stricter A source said that, if approved, screening could begin in the middle of next month, so long as construction of a large makeshift hospital went smoothly. The insider also revealed that officials had been considering whether to send collected specimens across the border to be tested, a move that could fuel privacy concerns. But Wu said it would be more convenient for mainland authorities to send more testing personnel to Hong Kong. “Sending specimens across the border would incur travelling time and customs clearance,” he said. “Of course, it would be good to have Shenzhen as backup for testing capacity.” Wu said his company could handle nearly 400,000 samples a day after it had finished installing two extra temporary lab facilities, while a new Sunrise Diagnostic-operated site opened at Ma On Shan Sports Centre on Tuesday. The insider said the government was considering adopting the mainland’s approach of a rolling lockdown of xiao qu , or “small districts”, as authorities looked into plans for a universal testing scheme. Hong Kong boy band Mirror begins work on video for Covid fight, as donations pour in However, Wu cast doubt on the feasibility of a citywide lockdown enforced by a ban on residents leaving their homes. “We need to take into account Hong Kong’s practical situation, such as whether we have the ability to arrange delivery of food to more than 7 million residents in the event of a citywide lockdown,” he said. In Shenzhen on Saturday, Xia Baolong, director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, chaired the third meeting of a top-level, tripartite coordination group to discuss how to assist the city. During the meeting, Xia focused on unified action to end the crisis, calling on everyone to support the Hong Kong government in overcoming the public health crisis. Discussions on Saturday also included assisting in the transport of anti-epidemic materials, the opening of special ports to allow quick customs clearance of supplies and personnel and the promotion of constructing makeshift hospitals.