Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hong Kong Press Release: Sec. for Food & Health Remarks on new novel #coronavirus

February 23, 2013
Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after attending a public function this afternoon (February 23):

Secretary for Food and Health: I would like to mention here that yesterday a patient was admitted into a public hospital with fever and symptoms of upper respiratory infection. The patient also has a history of travel to the Middle East. Therefore, our frontline staff's alertness was heightened. The case was reported to the Centre for Health Protection this morning. At the same time, the hospital staff have obtained specimen from the patient to conduct a rapid test. Up to this stage, the report showed that the specimen tested positive for influenza B, but negative for Novel Coronavirus. We are still observing the patient. If necessary, we will repeat the test. However, up to this moment, the patient's specimen tested negative for Novel Coronavirus. I would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible. Whenever there is a suspected case, particularly patients with travel history to the Middle East that need to perform the rapid test, we will release information to the public as soon as possible.

Reporter: (On rumours of new Severe Respiratory Disease associated with Novel Coronavirus)

Secretary for Food and Health: We noticed that there were at least two incidents where rumours were subsequently proven untrue. These rumours will not affect the health care system. We will remain vigilant. However, spreading of such rumours is unhealthy. The public's attention may be diverted if there are too many untrue reports spreading around. It is important to have trust in the Government that it will be as transparent as possible. Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Saturday, February 23, 2013
Issued at HKT 20:16

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